Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times described Angels general manager Tony Reagins as “defiant” when asked if yesterday’s trade for Alberto Callaspo will equal less of an opportunity for Brandon Wood.
It doesn’t affect Brandon’s future in any way. It doesn’t. We’re not thinking down that path right now. We’re not going to make any decisions and give up on Brandon Wood. He’s been a part of this organization and he’s a good player. Hopefully, we can get him going in the right direction.
Even before the trade Wood had started just seven of the past 22 games and barring an injury or another trade there’s just no place for him in the Angels’ lineup. And as Bolch points out, Callaspo is 27 years old and under the Angels’ control through 2013, while Maicer Izturis is signed through 2012.
I’ve been critical of the Angels in the past because they avoided giving Wood an extended opportunity to play every day, but at this point even his short stints of sporadic starts add up to 420 career plate appearances and he’s simply been dreadful, hitting .181 with a .206 on-base percentage, .275 slugging percentage, and ghastly 126/11 K/BB ratio.
At this point a fresh start for Wood would probably be best for everyone involved, although the longtime top prospect’s stock has plummeted to the point that the Angels probably couldn’t even get any significant value for him in a trade.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.