Scott Podsednik Signs With Blue Jays
The veteran outfielder signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays on Wednesday. The deal comes with a invitation to major league spring training, which officially gets under way for Toronto position players with a first workout on Saturday. The Angels and a few other teams were reportedly interested in Podsednik during the offseason, but nothing came to fruition until Wednesday. That seems to indicate he made a mistake by turning down his half of a $2 million mutual option from the Dodgers.
Podsednik played for the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He finished with a batting average of .297, a .342 on-base percentage and 35 steals in 134 total games. He was caught stealing 15 times, however, and, as you can probably tell, his ability to get on base is almost entirely linked to his batting average. All of those numbers were right in line with the best offensive seasons of Podsednik's career.
Podsednik will have a pretty good shot at winning a spot on the roster. The Jays could use a leadoff man and Podsednik fits the offensive criteria a bit better than Rajai Davis. They also could be looking at a time share at the designated hitter position where Podsednik could split duties with Travis Snider and Juan Rivera as the Jays look to avoid too much of a defensive disaster in left field. There's also the possibility that the Jays will be forced to use Jose Bautista at third base, although that seems like a last resort.
So there's room for Podsednik to earn a job. Assuming he can repeat last year's production, he could even play quite a bit, although one imagines they'd rather see Rivera and Snider win regular roles with Podsednik and Davis splitting time and providing doses of speed to a lineup that's short on it.