The Los Angeles Angels' patience with Brandon Wood has finally reached its breaking point.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTradeRumors.com reported last night that Angels' broadcaster Victor Rojas announced on Twitter that the team had designated Wood for assignment. The move is intended to make room for Erick Aybar, who is returning from the disabled list.
Wood, a former first-round pick by the Angels in 2003, had a huge upside for many years. He was rated the No. 3 overall prospect prior to the 2006 season, a year after he hit 43 HR in high-A ball. Spanning over eight minor league seasons, Wood recorded 161 home runs and a respectable .284 average.
But despite numerous attempts, the 26-year-old infielder has never been able to translate his minor league hype into Major League success. He has spent parts of five seasons with the big club, and has a total of 11 home runs to his credit. His career batting average stands at a paltry .168, with a .197 OBP.
The Angels made every effort to give him a chance to turn things around. But his early 2011 performance was looking a lot like his career line—no home runs, no RBI and a .143 BA and OBP. Wood's time with the Angels has all but come to an end.
The team now has 10 days to either trade or release Wood (or outright him to the minors if he clears waivers, which is highly unlikely). I recently predicted that Wood would be cut before Opening Day. Looks like my prediction was about 20 days premature.
Wood will likely latch on with another team, either via trade or free agency, and that may be exactly what he needs to turn things around. He's still only 26, so he has plenty of time to establish himself as a legitimate Major League athlete.