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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Angels cut loose Brandon Wood

By Mark Saxon
ESPNLosAngeles.com

The Los Angeles Angels finally cut ties with struggling infielder Brandon Wood, once one of the organization's brightest prospects.

Wood, 26, was designated for assignment following Tuesday night's game in Texas to make roster room for shortstop Erick Aybar to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Wood, the No. 3 prospect in baseball entering 2006 after he mashed 43 minor league home runs, never managed to hit major league pitching. He went into 2010 as the Angels' everyday third baseman, but batted .146 in 226 at-bats. He wasn't doing any better in a reserve role this season, with eight strikeouts in 14 at-bats.

The Angels have 10 days to trade him or place him on waivers, because Wood is out of options. A first-round pick in 2003, Wood was minor league player of the year two seasons later when he batted .321 with 115 RBIs at Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

If Wood were to clear waivers, he could report to Triple-A Salt Lake, but the Angels sounded all but certain that wasn't going to happen. If they don't trade him, another team likely would claim him off waivers because of his potential and relative youth.

"Brandon needs to go and play and get an opportunity to establish his career," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters in Arlington, Texas. "And we'll be proud of him when it happens."

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.