With Brandon Wood getting DFA by the Angels yesterday, there’s been quite a bit of talk on Twitter this morning about the Pirates putting in a claim for him (well, before we all started making dick jokes). Wood is, after all, a former top prospect that technically has the ability to play shortstop. Of course, the fact that he’s hit .168/.197/.259 in 494 Major League plate appearances kind of makes him look like a poor man’s pale imitation of Andy LaRoche at the plate, but, well, anything’s better than Ronny Cedeno, right?
That’s what MLB Trade Rumors said today in what I’d like to declare, “The most perfect summation of how people that are not Pirate fans like to think about the Pirates” today:
I’d like to see a non-contending team install Wood as the starting shortstop and just let him rip for 500 plate appearances. That plan might be unfair to players who don’t have the “advantage” of being out of options. But the Pirates might as well try him over Ronny Cedeno.
Hey! Might as well!
I kid, but the truth is it’s not a terrible idea. The problem is that it’s pretty easy to see how Wood might be another Andy LaRoche and the Pirates have a small window over the next year or two in which they have to figure out if Chase D’Arnaud or Brock Holt are acceptable starting shortstop options. Neither are great prospects or anything, but there’s at least a decent chance that they can field the position (something Wood isn’t great at) and hit a little bit (something Wood may never do). D’Arnaud could theoretically be ready for a call-up by mid-season and Holt is probably about a year behind.
I’m not saying either one is a sure thing, but if the Pirates mess around with Wood for 300 or 400 PAs that could go to someone like D’Arnaud before drawing the conclusion the Angels (and quite a few other people) have already come to, they’re only hurting themselves in the search for an acceptable shortstop. If the Pirates think they see something in Wood that suggests that he might hit, they should make a claim. If they don’t, though, I think the time to throw stuff at the wall based on minor league results and pedigree just to see if it sticks (LaRoche, Milledge, even Walker) is passing.