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Dodgers Trade For Scott Podsednik Of Royals

The Dodgers announced today that they have acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Royals:

#Dodgers have acquired Scott Podsednik from Royals for minor league catcher Lucas May and minor league pitcher Elisaul Pimentel

The White Sox chose to replace Podsednik in a trade with the Dodgers for Juan Pierre this offseason, and today the Dodgers completed that circle of life by trading for Podsednik.

“Scott brings a lot to our club,” said general manager Ned Colletti. “He has speed, is a good hitter and has been a solid run producer this season. He is also someone who was a key member of a World Series champion in Chicago.”

Perhaps the Pierre comparison is a bit unfair. Both are speedy left-handed corner outfielders with similar career numbers (career 89 OPS+ for Podsednik, 84 OPS+ for Pierre), both have a ring in a box, but the 34-year old Podsednik has actually enjoyed a bit of a resurgence the past two years. Since the beginning of 2009, Podsednik has hit .306/.353/.407, for a 101 OPS+. His .335 wOBA this season is higher than anyone currently on the Dodger bench.

Podsednik has 30 stolen bases this season, but also led the American League being caught 12 times.

Defensively, Podsednik has been slightly below average the past two seasons, per UZR/150 (1.3 and 1.7 runs below average the last two years, respectively). Using plus/minus (via Bill James Online), Podesdnik was three runs above average in Chicago last season, but is eight runs below average as a Royal this year. Looking at the break down, it appears he has been particularly ineffective with balls hit deeply (15 runs below average after five runs above average last season), so I wonder if that might be due to different positioning in Kansas City or perhaps a park effect.

Per the amazing Cot's Contracts, we see that Podsednik is under contract for $1.75 million this season, plus a $2 million option for 2011, or a $100,000 buyout. With 67 days left in the season, the Dodgers are on the hook for roughly $640,710 in 2010 salary for Podsednik. He can void his 2011 option if he reaches 525 plate appearances. Podsedink currently has 435 plate appearances, so 525 seems eminently reachable.

The acquisition of Podsednik at the very least means dramatically less playing time for Xavier Paul, who has started 13 of the last 21 games since Manny Ramirez was placed on the disabled list. Podsednik will likely become the everyday left fielder at least until Ramirez gets back, and even then given Manny's fragility, Podsednik figures to see quite a bit of playing time down the stretch for the Dodgers.