After Scott Podsednik came to the Dodgers from Kansas City in late July, he hit an underwhelming .262/.313/.336 (79 OPS+) in 160 plate appearances with below-average defense and a net of only two stolen bases. That was all before September 9; he ended up missing most of the last month of the season due to plantar fasciitis.
Despite Podsednik’s subpar performance as a Dodger and the fact that he’ll be 35 in March, the club picked up their half of a $2m (plus $300k in incentives) mutual option in November. At the time, Ned Colletti seemed to leave the door open for substantial playing time for Podsednik should he return:
“Our thought process after watching him play for us and seeing what he added to our club was that we would like to have him back,” said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti. “He obviously has versatility in the field, plus he has an added component in the speed he has.”
When asked if Podsednik could be an everday left fielder, Colletti said they would “have to wait and see. … He was last year until he got hurt.”
Fortunately for us all, Podsednik declined his option, and the fact that I still say that after three months of watching the Dodgers try and fail to fill that LF hole should tell you all you need to know about my opinion of Podsednik. Presumably, Podsednik’s thinking at the time was that he could do better than a one year, $2m deal, particularly since reports were that he and the Dodgers were still having conversations about his return even after declining the option.
That all went down in the first days of November. We’re now nearly into February – camps open in less than a month – and Podsednik is still without a home. Since then, we’ve heard the rumors fly about him, but nothing has quite worked out. At one point it was the Reds. They signed Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida. Then it was the Blue Jays. They acquired Rajai Davis and traded for Juan Rivera (and also, you know, have an awesome GM who’s smarter than that). We’ve heard about the Braves, but it seems unlikely they’d sign another lefty outfielder to go with Jason Heyward, Eric Hinske, and Nate McLouth.
So who’s left? Perhaps the Angels, because at this point absolutely nothing they do would surprise, though their outfield seems full enough with Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Peter Bourjos, and Bobby Abreu. The Mets and Marlins may each need a veteran backup, yet neither team has shown any interest in spending this winter.
At this point, I think it’s clear that Podsednik probably screwed up by declining his option. It seems unlikely that anyone’s going to guarantee him $2m or give him an opportunity for as much playing time as he could have had with the Dodgers. The longer this drags on, the higher the chance is that he doesn’t even get a guaranteed major-league deal, though that’s most likely not going to end up happening. Honestly, I just want him to sign somewhere, if only to eliminate that 0.00001% chance that the Dodgers could still bring him back. On the plus side, his mistake is our gain!