Brandon Wood, meet Tony Pena Jr.

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With his 0-for-3 on Sunday, Brandon Wood went over 200 plate appearances for the season and his average dwindled to .160. If he doesn’t get another at-bat all year, he’d finish with a .397 OPS that’d rank as the lowest for any player in the expansion era.
Here’s the bottom 10 with a minimum of 200 plate appearances:
1. Brandon Wood (Angels, 2010) – .160/.185/.213 – .397 in 188 AB
2. Tony Pena Jr. (Royals, 2008) – .169/.189/.209 – .398 in 225 AB
3. Ray Oyler (Tigers, 1968) – .135/.213/.186 – .399 in 215 AB
4. John Vukovich (Phillies, 1971) – .166/.211/.189 – .400 in 217 AB
5. Al Weis (White Sox, 1966) – .155/.233/.187 – .420 in 187 AB
6. Doug Strange (Pirates, 1998) – .173/.217/.216 – .433 in 185 AB
7. Mike Ryan (Phillies, 1968) – .179/.218/.216 – .434 in 296 AB
8. Jerry Zimmerman (Twins, 1967) – .167/.243/.192 – .436 in 234 AB
9. Jim Mason (Yankees, 1975) – .152/.228/.211 – .438 in 223 AB
10. Rich Morales (SD/CHW, 1973) – .161/.245/.194 – .438 in 248 AB
Pena, incredibly, got even worse in 2009, hitting .098/.132/.118 in 51 at-bats before the Royals gave up on him, and he’s now trying to work his way back to the majors as a pitcher in the Giants chain.
Wood appears doomed. He’s now played in 153 major league games and hit .177/.205/.267 with 10 homers and a ridiculous 130/11 K/BB ratio in 412 at-bats. Though the Angels are out of the race, they’ve given him just two starts all month. (Oddly enough, they’ve won all three games he’s started since Aug. 25.) Wood has a pretty good reputation in the field, but in 484 innings (the equivalent of 55 games) at third base and shortstop this year, he’s committed eight errors and been involved in just seven double plays.
Some rebuilding club will probably take a chance on him this winter. He’s entering his age-26 season, and he’s hit .283/.350/.536 with 77 homers in 330 Triple-A games. But he’ll be far from a lock to make a team out of spring training, even though the fact that he’s out of options has kept him in the majors throughout 2010.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.