The Dodgers acquired Scott Podsednik from the Royals for catcher Lucas May and right-handed pitcher Elisaul Pimentel, the Royals announced. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, who first reported the deal on Twitter, notes that the Dodgers will pay the rest of Podsednik's salary.
Podsednik has a .309/.352/.400 line with 30 steals in 42 attempts. If those numbers look familiar, it’s because he batted .304/.353/.412 with 30 steals in 43 attempts a year ago. Podsednik has spent most of his time in left field this year, though he has played hundreds of games in center over the course of his ten-year MLB career.
The 34-year-old makes $1.65MM this year (about $620K remains). The Dodgers have a $2MM option for 2011, but Podsednik will probably be able to void it. He has 430 plate appearances and needs just 525 to neutralize the option.
Royals GM Dayton Moore said the club would likely have offered arbitration to Podsednik, a projected Type B free agent the season. The Royals remain open to signing the outfielder if he hits free agency this winter, but Moore wanted to acquire value for him now.
May, 25, is hitting .285/.344/.472 with 11 homers in the upper minors, mostly at Triple A. The Dodgers drafted him as a shortstop in the eighth round of the 2003 draft and current Royals scout Mitch Webster signed him. Moore says May is a "slam dunk MLB catcher" in some capacity, though he is still developing behind the plate.
Before the 2007 season, May became a full-time catcher. Baseball America said he was still an "inconsistent" receiver before this season, when they ranked May 17th among Dodgers prospects. BA noted his ability to square up fastballs and his struggles with off-speed and breaking pitches.
Pimentel, who was honored as the Topps Midwest League Player of the Month for June, has a 3.49 ERA in 16 starts this year. The 22-year-old Dominican native has, to borrow Moore's words, "eye-popping" minor league numbers: 9.7 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 with that tidy 3.49 ERA.
This afternoon, the Dodgers were pursuing Podsednik and other outfielders, including Ryan Raburn. GM Ned Colletti wanted outfield depth, since Manny Ramirez and Reed Johnson are on the DL. Now, Colletti tells Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that his focus has turned to pitching (Twitter link).