Scott Podsednik Rumors
Last week, Scott Podsednik officially declined his half of his mutual option with the Dodgers and elected to become a free agent. Pods has seen time with three different clubs over the past two seasons, and may end up with a fourth within the next few months. While a few years ago, Podsednik may have been a Major League afterthought, he's rebuilt some stock and now joins a fairly weak outfield market. Let's take a look at his position:
- Podsednik can still run. He may no longer be a 70 stolen base threat, but he's still good for 30-plus swipes per season and will always give pitchers something to think about when he's on base.
- His .300/.347/.397 slash line over the past two seasons is passable for a leadoff hitter who can steal plenty of bases.
- Podsednik makes good contact; he struck out just 15.4% of his plate appearances this year, while the Major League average sat at 20.7%.
- He's a Type B free agent, so he won't cost a draft pick to sign, and likely won't require an overly large salary either.
- He can handle lefties decently, so he doesn't need to be part of a platoon. It's worth noting that what little power he has is against right-handers though; he had just four extra base hits against southpaws in 2010.
- It's been awhile since Pods was a defensive asset. While he has good speed still, he's failed to post a positive UZR in left field since 2007, and his arm is considerably below average.
- While he can steal you bases, it's not at an elite rate anymore. Podsednik got caught in nearly 30% of his attempts in 2010, compared to just 16% of the time at his peak in 2004, when he stole 70 with Milwaukee.
- He can hit the occasional home run, but Podsednik isn't a reliable source of power. He's slugged above .400 just twice in his career.
- He may not be the sexiest option, but after Carl Crawford, Podsednik represents one of the best left field options on the market (Johnny Damon and Pat Burrell are others, depending on how many clubs still view them as viable outfielders). That should give him bargaining power and increase the number of suitors.
Podsednik is no longer the terror on the bases he was in his younger days. He'll be 35 next season, but can still steal 30+ bases and get on base well enough to be a club's leadoff hitter. He won't bring power, but he doesn't strike out much and many teams will like his veteran presence. He represents one of the better left field options on the market, thanks to a resurgent 2009-2010 stretch. He declined a $2MM salary with the Dodgers, which means he'll look to best that mark and likely won't have trouble doing so. It's at least possible a team commits two years, but I'd assume most will want to stick to one-year deals, probably with a club option. Podsednik can likely command a salary in the $3MM-$4MM range, and if he can maintain his speed, it wouldn't be a terrible commitment.
Podsednik's nothing too special at this point, but he picked a good time to enter free agency. A weak market and back-to-back solid seasons will earn him a respectable payday.
Links for tonight as we remember Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, who passed away today at the age of 76. MLB.com's Marty Noble penned a great article today looking back at the life and career of the universally beloved skipper.
- The Mets announced that GM Sandy Alderson will interview in-house candidates Wally Backman, Terry Collins, and Chip Hale in California this weekend, writes Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Earlier today the Mets sat down with Bob Melvin and Dave Jauss in New York.
- Giants GM Brian Sabean says that the club will soon make an offer to Aubrey Huff and will "certainly be in discussions" with Juan Uribe, writes Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.
- Expect the Rockies to call Kevin Gregg's agent, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols said that he hopes to work out an extension with the club before Opening Day, according to the Associated Press.
- Jonathan Maurer, the agent for Brandon Webb, says that several teams have already contacted him with interest in his client, according to the Associated Press. We learned yesterday that Webb would like to return to Arizona but that seems unlikely.
- After turning down his end of a mutual option today, Scott Podsednik is still in talks with the Dodgers, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- The Denver Post's Troy Renck says that Jorge de la Rosa hasn't been presented with an offer from the Rockies since last winter when he instead opted to take a one-year deal in arbitration.
- The Mets dropped five players from the 40-man roster today including Jesus Feliciano and Omir Santos, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
Scott Podsednik declined his side of his mutual option with the Dodgers and will hit free agency. The Dodgers exercised their side of the option for $2MM two days ago, but Podsednik topped 525 plate appearances this year, so his contract gave him the choice between a $2MM salary or free agency.
Podsednik, 35 in March, hit .297/.342/.382 in 595 plate appearances for the Royals and Dodgers this year. He spent most of his time in left field, tallying 1078.6 innings there. Given the weak free agent market for left fielders after Carl Crawford, it's not surprising that Podsednik chose free agency.
Links for Wednesday, after a roller coaster win by Joey Votto and the Reds...
- GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that the Brewers won't discuss an extension with Rickie Weeks until the season's over. Weeks, who will hit free agency after 2011, recently switched agents.
- Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Kevin Gregg and John Buck all hit waivers, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). There's no indication that the Blue Jays intend on moving any of their players this month.
- Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes analyzes the seasons some top second basemen are having.
- Number 18 is an 'ace number' in Japan, so Daisuke Matsuzaka has a clause in his contract ensuring that he gets to wear it. Matsuzaka explained to Alex Speier of WEEI.com that a childhood idol of his, Masumi Kuwata, wore the number for the Yomiuri Giants.
- Ben Kabak of River Ave. Blues calls the Javier Vazquez trade a "true disappointment," but hesitates to label it a "true bust."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post argues that the Mets should make decisions with the future of the organization in mind, instead of "letting a lame-duck manager make choices" to win as much as possible.
- Manny Ramirez isn't the only Dodger on waivers. As Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times notes (on Twitter), Casey Blake, Jay Gibbons and Scott Podsednik also hit the waiver wire today.
Links for Thursday, exactly two years after the Padres traded Greg Maddux to the Dodgers...
- Aramis Ramirez told Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com that he plans to honor his contract. Presumably that means he intends on exercising his 2011 player option worth $14.6MM.
- As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out on Twitter, Scott Podsednik has now reached 525 plate appearances for 2010, so he will have the power to void his 2011 option. The Dodgers have a $2MM option for next season with a $100K buyout.
- Mark Pieper of SFX now represents Aubrey Huff, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Huff, a free agent this winter, left ACES earlier in the season.
- Brad Hawpe, who was officially released today, thanked the fans for his seven years in Colorado, via Troy Renck of the Denver Post. It's been a rough year for Hawpe, who was "a player who everybody would have wanted" last winter, according to a GM who spoke to ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe says he would offer Adrian Beltre a three-year $45MM deal this winter if he were running the Red Sox, but he's not sure about $60MM over four years.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests all parties would benefit if the Dodgers trade Manny Ramirez this month. Manny is rehabbing, but can soon be placed on waivers. He will likely clear waivers and draw trade interest.
- Trever Miller, Cardinals. The lefty needs 45 appearances for his $2MM option to vest, and he's made 41 on the season. He could lock in next year's salary within a week, though a DL-worthy left arm or shoulder injury changes this to a club option.
- Darren Oliver, Rangers. Oliver needs 59 appearances for his $3.25MM option to vest, and he's got 46 so far. Barring injury, he'll get there.
- Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Hernandez needs 120 games for his $3.25MM option to vest. He's played in 65 so far. The Reds have only 50 games remaining, so we can cross this one off the list.
- An honorable mention goes to Billy Wagner, whose $6.5MM option vests with 50 games finished. Wagner has finished 46 so far. However just last month he repeated his desire to retire after the season. Having a guaranteed salary for 2011 might not sway Wagner, since he would've made at least that much on the free agent market anyway. But what if he finishes the season just shy of the fourth spot on the all-time saves leaderboard? He's currently 12 away from John Franco, who finished with 424.
- Also of note is Scott Podsednik, who needs 525 plate appearances to be able to void his $2MM club option. Pods is 41 PAs shy of that mark.
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).
2:37pm: The Dodgers are considering a second outfielder, along with Podsednik, according to Rosenthal on Twitter. Earlier in the afternoon, Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers are “in conversation” with the Royals regarding Podsednik (via Twitter). A second source tells Rosenthal that the Giants are still in on Podsednik.
1:23pm: The Dodgers are moving closer on Podsednik, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.
WEDNESDAY, 12:43pm: The Dodgers are making the strongest push for Podsednik, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, but the Giants remain involved.
MONDAY, 10:40pm: NL West teams are bombarding the Royals with interest in Scott Podsednik, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star confirms the report (via Twitter) and so does Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. Rosenthal suggests the Giants, Padres and Dodgers could be fits. The Giants and Padres have been linked to outfielders for weeks now and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti recently said he wants to add outfield depth.
Podsednik, 34, has a .309/.353/.399 line with 29 steals in 41 attempts. It's a carbon copy of the season he put together last year, when he batted .304/.353/.412 with 30 steals in 43 attempts. Teams know what they're getting in Podsednik: a speedy left fielder who can play center and get on base.
The Royals signed Podsednik to a team-friendly deal that guarantees the outfielder $1.65MM this season (about $580K remains). The team has an option for 2011 worth $2MM, but Podsednik will likely be able to void it. He had 421 plate appearances entering today's action and needs just 525 to neutralize the option.
Links for Tuesday, as Jose Bautista becomes the first major leaguer to reach the 30-homer plateau this season...
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that trade talk has been "very quiet." The Reds aren't on the brink of making any deals (Twitter link).
- Kyle Farnsworth left tonight's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). It's not a strain, so he may be OK. Farnsworth's health may be a moot point, as ESPN's Jayson Stark tweeted today that the Royals are getting little action on their trade candidates.
- The Rangers released former Astro and Phillie Geoff Geary, according to the transactions page for the Pacific Coast League. Geary had been pitching at Triple A Oklahoma City, where he posted a 5.37 ERA.
- Rockies owner Dick Monfort told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he would add payroll this summer if the circumstances are right. The team's approach to the deadline isn't yet clear.
- Kelly Johnson is drawing more interest than other available D’Backs, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter).
- The Rangers signed second-rounder Cody Buckel for $590K according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter).
- The Rockies have inquired about Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter). Troy Tulowitzki is ready to return to action, so the Rockies' need for infield help is no longer pressing.
- The Padres aren't a fit for Scott Podsednik, a source tells Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter). NL West teams appear to covet the speedy left fielder.
- Gil Meche needs shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
- It wasn't so long ago that Meche and Jeff Francoeur were linked by the same rumors, but, as ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out on Twitter, Jason Bay's mild concussion makes a Francoeur deal less seem likely.
The San Francisco offense is heating up, but the Giants are still looking for outfield bats. The Royals are discussing Jose Guillen with San Francisco, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The potential deal would send the 34-year-old to San Francisco along with cash to cover some of the $4.5MM or so remaining on Guillen’s contract.
But Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears (via Twitter) from a rival official who believes the Royals have “no real options” to move Guillen, even if they ask for a modest return and take on salary. Stark’s source says (via Twitter) there’s very little action on some of Guillen’s teammates: Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies and Kyle Farnsworth.
Another one of Guillen’s teammates, Scott Podsednik, is drawing strong interest from NL West teams, including the Giants. For what it’s worth, the Giants have been scouting Guillen aggressively, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). For the season, Guillen has 16 homers and a .271/.333/.457 line.
The Giants are pursuing outfielders other than Guillen and Podsednik, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Like the Braves, Rays and Red Sox, the Giants have interest in Josh Willingham.