No surprise at all here, other than how quickly it happened: Jay Gibbons has signed a one-year contract for 2011, according to Dylan Hernandez. No terms have been released, but if it’s for more than a $1m base salary, I’d be shocked. (Update: Hernandez says it’s only $400k plus incentives. Wow! Lower than I’d thought. Love it.) The deal is a major-league contract, which represents a nice step forward for Gibbons, who signed with the club last year to a minor-league deal that didn’t even include an invite to spring training. Gibbons shouldn’t be looked upon as a starter in left field or more than a platoon piece at most, though he brings some power to the bench that the team hasn’t seen in years. His ability to play both 1B and OF will add some nice flexibility as well.
Speaking of lefty-hitting outfielders who shouldn’t be starters, Scott Podsednik declined his half of the mutual option that the Dodgers picked up earlier this week. However, Ken Rosenthal reports that Podsednik and the Dodgers have mutual interest in his return, and are exploring a deal regardless. That means that Podsednik feels he can get more than the 1 year, $2m payday he’d have received if he’d picked up his option. As little as I was interested in having Podsednik on the roster for even $2m, you can imagine how I’ll feel when he ends up getting 2 years, $5m from Ned Colletti instead.
Really, I never understood how both Gibbons and Podsednik would fit on the team, as both are lefty hitting outfielders who aren’t plus defenders and fit best coming off the bench. At least Gibbons has some pop, while Podsednik’s only skill – speed – is overrated by the fact that that he gets caught one of every three times he runs, which is poor, and that his season ended with a foot injury. At 35, he’s not a great bet to bounce back, and he’s not a good fit on this team.