Wood_Brandon

Angels finally decide to give up on Brandon Wood

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Following Tuesday’s 15-4 win over the Rangers, the Angels made the move many had anticipated since the end of last season, designating former top prospect Brandon Wood for assignment.

The transaction opens up a roster spot for the returning Erick Aybar.

Wood reached on an error in his lone at-bat in tonight’s rout. He was 2-for-14 with eight strikeouts on the season. In his major league career, he’s hit .168 with 11 homers, 33 RBI and a ridiculous 153/13 K/BB ratio in 463 at-bats.

Wood was rated by Baseball America as the game’s No. 3 prospect prior to the 2006 season and No. 8 prospect a year later. He hit 43 homers for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2005 and then 25 in Double-A the next year. While he struggled some in his first year in Triple-A in 2007, he still was largely a success in Triple-A, hitting .283/.350/.536 with 77 homers in 1,437 at-bats for Salt Lake. He just hasn’t been able to carry that over to the majors, though, and his awful approach at the plate has left him with few believers.

That said, it would be something of a surprise if Wood clears waivers. He plays a capable shortstop and an above average third base. He’s just 26 and the power is there for him to hit 20-to-25 homers per year in the majors. The Mariners and Astros both have little to play for this year and long-term question marks on the left side of their infielders, so both should consider putting in a claim. The Pirates and Dodgers are other teams that might weigh a move.

Report: Mark Trumbo signs three-year, $37.5 million contract with Orioles

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.

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Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.

Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.

Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.