The Los Angeles Dodgers traded two minor leaguers to the Kansas City Royals for 2005 all-star Scott Podsednik.
The Dodgers gave up triple A catcher Lucas May and A-ball pitcher Elisaul Pimentel. The Dodgers will also pay Podsednik's remaining salary this year. In 73 triple A games, May has a triple slash stats line of .300/.356/.500. He turns 26 years old this year, however.
When I first heard about this trade on the radio, my first thoughts were, and I am channeling my inner Ned Colletti by the way, former All-Star (one time), rookie of the year runner up, former stolen base leader and owner of a shiny World Series ring.
Here's Colletti's take:
"He has been a World Series champion with the Chicago White Sox [in 2005]," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He brings speed, he is a good hitter, he can play left field or center field if necessary, and he can drive in runs. With Reed Johnson and Manny being out and not knowing exactly when they'll be back and not knowing if they will have additional issues the rest of the season, this is a safeguard against them having any trouble staying on the field."
World Series champion is meaningless. Certainly the pitching, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye had a much larger role. Podsednik played well for the Chicago White Sox during their World Series run, but in said World Series, he got on base 28.6% of the time--I know only 22 plate appearances but still meaningless to include that as the reason to trade for him.
He does steal a lot of bases, but he also gets caught stealing a lot too--leading the league in that category two times and the leader this season. For his career, he has stolen a base at a 75% rate. This year, he is at 71.4% and last year he was at 69.7%. He is 34 years old, so it isn't unreasonable to note that his speed has diminished somewhat.
Podsednik isn't a useless player, but it is a mildly useless trade. He fills in nicely as a bench player and an okay pinch runner. It's not as bad as giving up Carlos Santana for Casey Blake, but it's just a ho-hum typical Colletti move--trading away young players for old veterans who once upon a time played in a World Series or an All-Star game.
One more thing. The article ends with this pearl:
"Podsednik is expected to arrive in time for Thursday's game against the San Diego Padres, and the Dodgers will announce a corresponding move at that time. The club probably will do one of three things: (1) Option outfielder Xavier Paul to Albuquerque, (2) designate veteran outfielder Garret Anderson for assignment or (3) send a reliever to the minors, thus reducing the pitching staff from the 13 the Dodgers have carried for the past week to the more conventional 12."
If you had to rank those, wouldn't you rank them (1) designate veteran outfielder Garret Anderson for assignment, (2) designate veteran outfielder Garret Anderson for assignment and (3) designate veteran outfielder Garret Anderson for assignment?
While Anderson used to be an All-Star, he does own a .182/.206/.277 31 OPS+ stat line. While it is ridiculous that the Dodgers carry 13 relief pitchers, keep in mind Joe Torre goes through relief pitchers recklessly. Chad Billingsley pitched the Dodgers first complete game on July 21st since the 2008 season.
What did the Dodgers do? They designated pitcher Jack Taschner for assignment. Sure, that's not a bad idea, but somehow, someway Garret Anderson is on the roster.