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Indians claim Wood from Royals; Green opts for free agency

Former North Gwinnett and Georgia Tech pitcher Blake Wood is no longer with the Kansas City Royals, the team that drafted him in 2006. But the right-handed reliever remains in the American League Central.

The Cleveland Indians claimed Wood, who is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery and didn't pitch in 2012, off the waiver wire on Friday.

Wood hurt his elbow in spring training and underwent surgery in May. He is expected to be ready to pitch by the middle of next season.

The Indians were willing to take a chance on Wood because of the promise the 27-year-old showed in 2011 during his second major league season. Appearing in 55 games, he was 5-3 with a save and had a 3.75 ERA. He struck out struck out 62 in 69 innings.

Wood, who lives in Sewanee, reached the majors with the Royals early in the 2010 season and pitched in 51 games that year. He was a third-round draft choice after helping pitch Georgia Tech to the College World Series as a junior. As a sophomore, he was 10-1.

While Wood is switching teams, Nick Green is looking for one. The veteran infielder elected to become a free agent after he was dropped from the Miami Marlins' 40-man roster last month.

Green, 34, played just briefly with the Marlins in August before tearing a tendon in his left thumb and landing on the disabled list. He began the season with Class AAA New Orleans and hit .344.

The Duluth graduate and Lawrenceville resident has played in 12 organizations and with eight major league teams over 14 seasons since being drafted by Atlanta. In addition to the Braves and Marlins, he's been in the majors with Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees, Seattle, Boston, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto.