Blue Jays, Angels Exploring Leadoff Options

The Blue Jays locked up Rajai Davis for the next two seasons earlier today, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that isn't stopping the team from pursuing leadoff-type hitters. Both Scott Podsednik and Johnny Damon are now on Toronto's radar according to Rosenthal's sources.

Podsednik has drawn interest from several teams this winter, including the Reds, Dodgers, and Angels, but the first two clubs solved their outfield problems by signing Fred Lewis and Marcus Thames, respectively. A number of teams have kicked the tires on Damon, most recently the Yankees and Rays. Both players are left-handed bats and have plenty of experience hitting leadoff, Podsednik over 3,300 plate appearances and Damon one shy of 7,200.

Rosenthal mentions that the Angels are also looking for a leadoff type, which is consistent with what we've heard throughout the winter.


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53 Comments on "Blue Jays, Angels Exploring Leadoff Options"


okbluejays
4 years 6 months ago

This doesn’t make much sense, and really I don’t see it happening for either players. I have no interest in Podsenik, as he’d be a terrible DH (I can only assume that Toronto would be using another player as a DH, as they have a surplus of OF’s already). I’d rather have Damon over Podsenik any day, even then Toronto would be better off spending a little more cash and trying to get Vlad or Manny. The only reason I wouldn’t mind Damon is because he can actually walk and wouldn’t be a bad lead-off man in a platoon situation…still don’t think it’s that likely.

4 years 6 months ago

Damon would play LF, moving Snider to RF and Bautista to 3B. It’s a great move as it improves our 3B situation, LF and RF from last year.

4 years 6 months ago

I also assume Damon would split time between LF and DH with Rajai Davis and Edwin Encarnacion respectively.

okbluejays
4 years 6 months ago

Exactly…there would be a pretty big logjam at DH/OF for the Jays, but I wouldn’t be totally opposed to Damon who I think could be a decent platoon with Davis at Lead-Off. I could see Damon hitting 35 doubles with 10hr’s while putting up good avg/obp numbers in full time duty with the Jays (which he probably wouldn’t get, unless there were injuries), also don’t think he’ll be asking for a lot of money at this point. Just say no to Podsednik, please.

aroundinsound
4 years 6 months ago

Jays stated last year that Snider will not be moving from LF, and anyone who watched him play RF last year will tell you he should stay in LF until he completely figures it out. Any additional OF for the Jays would sit on the bench the majority of the time, and as such neither Podsednik nor Damon really fit the mold. Podsednik fits more because he might be willing to warm more seats than Damon.

renegade24
4 years 6 months ago

I doubt very much the Jays would be interested in Scotty Pods. He is no better than a replacement level player (he has a combined 1.4 WAR in the past FIVE years. YUCK). I’d rather have Manny leading off (i don’t care if he’s slow) than either of those 2 guys. .400 OBP >>>>>> all.

grownice
4 years 6 months ago

for a 4th Of option, pods would be nice actually for the jays.

Karkat
4 years 6 months ago

How the Angles have not yet signed Pods is beyond me.

4 years 6 months ago

I hear they’re still coming up with a contract proposal for Carl Crawford.

Karkat
4 years 6 months ago

Poor Reagins. In his little world all the free agents want to play for his team. :<

Chrisn313
4 years 6 months ago

Nice.

bjsguess
4 years 6 months ago

I’m guessing that it has something to do with the fact that Angels already have 2 left fielders and guy in Willits who brings the same skill set to the table as Pods.

There are few players that make less sense for the Angels to sign then Pods.

disgustedcubfan
4 years 6 months ago

The Jays and Angels are really bad at exploring if Scotty Pods is what they came up with.
Continue the exploration process.

tbell11
4 years 6 months ago

The Angels just need to sign Scott Podsednik for 1 year so Mike Trout can get another year in the minors and be a beast

Matt_Kemp_Blake_Griffin
4 years 6 months ago

I did a 8.5 min mile in highschool. That was 20 years ago. Tell Arte and Reagins that I can bat lead off for a reasonable price. Ok I’m a Dodgers fan and would have never thought that LAD would do more this off season with all their ownership issues.

wickedkevin
4 years 6 months ago

(8.5 isn’t that great)

4 years 6 months ago

Heh, it’s actually really slow

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

considering all the power the blue jays have with hill, lind, wells, escobar and of course jose-bats signing someone like scotty pods who hits for a good average, gets on base decent enough and will steal a bunch(yes get caught a lot but steal a lot too) on a one year flier to DH and be part time OF is not a bad idea considering he put up a better season than damon….damon is only good if he is playing for the yankees and hitting into the right field jet stream

okbluejays
4 years 6 months ago

They already got that player in Rajai Davis though…Damon would be a better fit, but I really don’t want the Jays signing either.

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

yes they do which is why it would be nice to sign pods to DH..davis in center, with wells in left and snyder in right and bats at 3rd…and pods DH…your line up would be something close to davis-pods(or the other way around)-escobar-bats-wells-lind- hill-etc(really any one of the four of hill, lind, escobar, or wells could bat 3,5,6,7 as long as jose bats is clean up) and thats two guys with a ton of speed on the bases for the others to bring around…….

also pods is closer to a major league starter than damon is anymore…plus pods will likely be cheaper

okbluejays
4 years 6 months ago

Pods as a DH would be a terrible idea. He’d likely give Toronto negative value for the season. Damon still posted a .355OBP, and a .340wOBA in a down year at 35, while Podsednik has only posted a wOBA above .340 once in his entire career, and that was back in 2003. Damon is clearly the better hitter, and I don’t think there’s much of an argument that can be made, other than saying Damon is old…and even in his older age, he’s still been a way better hitter than Podsednik ever has been. You pretty much know you’re going to get a .350+ plus OBP from Damon, as for Podsednik, he has to have a good year to come close to that. Either way…don’t think either are a good fit for Toronto, but i’d take Damon if I had to choose.

VegasAngelFan
4 years 6 months ago

I’d like to see the Angels Sign Damon. He and Bobby can platoon in and out of left and DH. It would extend the season for both and they are both great hitters along with Damon’s speed. I hear he’s great in the club house as well, a natural leader.

bjsguess
4 years 6 months ago

What are you going to do with Rivera?

PushDown
4 years 6 months ago

Work the concession stand.

PushDown
4 years 6 months ago

“Damon’s speed”…you’re talking about bat speed right?

Gurvir Nijjar
4 years 6 months ago

It would be nice to see damon in TOR

SneakyLongBalls
4 years 6 months ago

This is an interesting rumor for the Jays and can be taken in different ways.
1. The Jays want Bautista to play 3rd and now they want another speedy 4th OF that platoons, DH’s, pinch runs and another lefty bat. Both of which are solid against lefties as well.
2. Bautista play’s right and the Jays are dangling Snider and pitcher for proven or prospect 3rd basemen. OF of Wells, Bautista, Davis/Damon or Pods.
3. This is just a rumor and nothing to it.
3.

duddy_17
4 years 6 months ago

I’m guessing it’s 3…

Lunchbox45
4 years 6 months ago

#2 is ridiculous

mgsports
4 years 6 months ago

Damon can play 1B a Plus for Rays.

4 years 6 months ago

Wow, wow, wow. Clearly the Jays aren’t “dangling” Travis Snider if they refused to include him in a deal for one of the best young arms in baseball in Zack Greinke. I like Bautista more in RF than I do at third. They should just move Encarnacion back to third, have Lind at first, sign Vlad or Manny. 1) Yunel Escobar 2) Aaron Hill 3) Manny Ramirez/Vladimir Guerrero 4) Jose Bautista 5) Vernon Wells 6) Adam Lind 7) Travis Snider 8) J.P Arencibia 9) Edwin Encarnacion

deere5800
4 years 6 months ago

Please no EE at third. The mere thought of that scares the hell out of me

grownice
4 years 6 months ago

Wow wow wow. Clearly the Jays dont need “aging” dh;s like Manny or Vlad. Encarnacion throws are horrid, bautista is much more reliable at 3rd… and it gives Davis a chance to play everyday so that we have actually have some speed at the top of the lineup, Escobar needs to be in the 2 spot with his great bat control…

Paul_Zuvella
4 years 6 months ago

What the article forgot is that the Jays signed Corey Patterson to a minor league contract to play the exact role that they’re looking @ either Damon or Pods to play, and did it as a much cheaper price. Patterson is a left bat off the bench, who can hit leadoff against righties AND who is much better defensively than either of those guys.

Don’t bet on either coming to Toronto, unless the team trades Snider, which I doubt they will.

SneakyLongBalls
4 years 6 months ago

Corey Patterson…while a nice fall back option, a career .292 OBP is not exactly what a lead off hitter should be.

grownice
4 years 6 months ago

4th outfielder is what his role is meant to be, if he makes the team

Paul_Zuvella
4 years 6 months ago

I completely agree with the sentiment. I’m just arguing as to why the Jays won’t spend $3-$6m on Damon or Pods to be a 4th outfielder, when they have a cheaper option under contract, who does offer upside from a defensive perspective and can (though not ideally) bat leadoff solely against righties.

EddieWinslow
4 years 6 months ago

Ugh, I hope Anthopolous isn’t stupid enough to sign Podsednik, Damon or Ramirez. I’d rather see the Jays sign someone younger and not on the decline or just go with what they have for now. Play Davis in LF, Snider in Right, Bautista at Third and Edwin at DH.

grownice
4 years 6 months ago

what if pods was the 4th outfielder?

jwsox
4 years 6 months ago

there really are not better options out there for a consistent lefty bat with speed than pods….unless they trade some of that pitching for someone

yankeeaddiction
4 years 6 months ago

The thing about Milledge is he was considered a high level prospect, his numbers get better every year, he is the youngest free agent at 25 and any team that signs him has control over him for another two years. He is only 25 and if he keeps improving at putting it all together whoever signs him may wind up with a very good player. He has been around a while where most guys his age are rookies or just finished their second year. I cant predict the future but he has a big upside.

Even though he is on the downside of his career Podsednik plays hard puts up good numbers and remains very productive. I think he is the ideal fourth outfielder/ pinch hitter, insurance for an injury for a contender like the Redsox, Yankees, A’s or Rangers.

I think Damon has alot left too. He is motivated because he wants 3000 hits. Damon likes being paid, he jumped to the Yankees, then Tigers over money leaving two situations where he was supposedly happy. I think he knows 3000 hits gets him into the Hall and that means alot of money in the long term and whoever signs him will still see alot of production.

To renegade- your logic of using Davis can never be argued with- when you have a young guy with an upside it is always best to let them play to see what you have. Going with the youth option is almost always the best course of action with any team. You see what you have its cheaper and you can evaluate a front office because if a guy considered a “high level” prospect falls flat then you can get a good idea if the front office has a problem in misjudging talent.

bjsguess
4 years 6 months ago

Milledge was considered a high level prospect. But his numbers have not been getting any better.

He “peeked” in 2007, at age 22, when he put up league average offense over 200 PA’s. Then he had 2 seasons where he regressed. Then, finally, last season he showed signs of life again – although he didn’t hit as well as he did in 2007.

The guy has played the equivalent of 2.5 full seasons. He’s proven to be exactly below average offensively. Throw in his baggage and it’s no secret why teams are passing on this clown. Most teams can pull up someone from the minors and get this level of performance without the attitude.

Milledge is going to need to reestablish himself somewhere. Swallow that pride, shut up, and play good baseball. Do that for a season and just maybe someone will throw you a bone.

renegade24
4 years 6 months ago

It isn’t cheaper though because they already have Davis signed for 2 years. Milledge just isn’t a good enough or even an upgrade over Davis to justify taking him on with his horrendous attitude problems simply because he is 5 years younger. Sorry.

4 years 6 months ago

>>>The Angels just need to sign Scott Podsednik for 1 year so Mike Trout can get another year in the minors and be a beast

—–

The exactly what the Halos are looking for.. a cheap one year contract until Trout comes up

PushDown
4 years 6 months ago

Them Halos need Pods, someone who doesn’t tear it up but is still a servicible leadoff. What’s even better about this is that Abreu can slide down to No.2, where he hits the best at. Frankly, the thought of Abreu leading off sorta scares me, what happened to those light-hitting, speedy, scrappy, clutch Angels team. I really miss em.

By the way, just throwing this option out there, how would you guys feel about the Angels getting Cantu. He’d be short-term, and an upgrade over Wood. he could platoon with super-utility guys like Mighty Maicer and Callaspo at 3B. Just a thought, cuz i think I’ve had enough of Wood.

bluejayspwn
4 years 6 months ago

maybe they’ll consider jose bautista again lol

renegade24
4 years 6 months ago

Milledge has never posted an OBP above .340. Also he has gigantic mental/attitude problems. No thank you. Rather just use Rajai Davis who is already signed and who’s career OBP is higher (along with providing massive speed).

Tko11
4 years 6 months ago

Milledge cant hit…all he knows how to do is act stupid. Still remember that one homerun he hit on the mets and decided to take a lap around the park and give people high fives.

PushDown
4 years 6 months ago

Yeah well hopefully he realizes how much bad his attitude problems is hurting his value and tries to turn the corner. If that happens, anyone who picks him up cheap is going to be big winners. But players these days don’t work like that anymore.

Jonathan Stone
4 years 6 months ago

What ever happened to Napoli for Ellsbury? I thought that was the no brainer win/win. Send money/PTBNL to adjust for differences in years of control, etc.

okbluejays
4 years 6 months ago

While I don’t agree or disagree, pretty sure the red sox never had any interest in doing that deal.

wickedkevin
4 years 6 months ago

Granted the Sox WERE interested in Napoli midseason, but at that point they were down Youk, Pedroia, and did not have someone named Gonzalez. They no longer need the power bat. They most likely also view Jacoby as having more upside. With that said, Scutaro could bat leadoff and there is still speed in Crawford. The deal still works nonetheless.

deere5800
4 years 6 months ago

I would have liked the Jays to get in on Napoli. Seems like a perfect fit for me. Someone who can spell Lind at first, does well against lefties, and can fill in for JPA if he struggles. Kills two birds with one stone.