Colin Dunlap of the Post Gazette has an update on Brandon Wood. He mentions that Wood has been placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Angels, and that the waiver process ends today at noon. The Pirates have the first overall pick (if you’re wondering why, check out my Important Dates in 2011 post), and are almost certainly going to make a claim on Wood, according to Dunlap.
With the Pirates having the number one pick, it appears that Wood will be a member of the organization by the end of the day. The only way that won’t happen is if someone else makes a trade to get Wood, although off the top of my head I’m not 100% sure if trades are allowed at this stage in the waiver process.
As I mentioned the other day, I don’t mind a claim on Wood, as long as he will be used as a bench player. There is a desire for an upgrade over Ronny Cedeno, but that doesn’t mean anyone would be an upgrade. Wood definitely isn’t an upgrade over Cedeno. His defense isn’t as strong at shortstop, and his offense has been atrocious in the majors. I’d take a chance on him mostly to see if a change in scenery could help him out. If he starts hitting well, and displaying the talent that once made him a top prospect, then I’d start giving him more playing time, possibly even at shortstop.
The big question is, who will be removed from the roster? The favorite would seem to be Josh Rodriguez. With Wood serving as a backup infielder, there would be no need for Rodriguez. Both players are in similar situations. Rodriguez has to remain on the 25-man roster, or be passed through waivers and offered back to Cleveland. Wood is out of options, so he would have to remain on the 25-man roster, or pass through waivers and be outrighted to AAA, which seems unlikely. The Pirates haven’t used Rodriguez much, and they definitely couldn’t afford to have two projects on their bench, which makes me think Rodriguez will be the odd man out.
If that does happen, the Pirates could retain Rodriguez, as long as he clears waivers and they work out a deal with Cleveland to keep him.