Podsednik held out all offseason in search of not only a Major League contract, but a starting job somewhere. Unfortunately, Podsednik couldn’t land either.
The 34-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. According to Ken Rosenthal, if Podsednik makes the Major League roster, his salary will be a cool $1 million.
I actually like this move by the Blue Jays and is another in the long line of good moves by GM Alex Anthopoulos.
Podsednik can’t field a lick, but he can certainly fill a couple of roles with the Blue Jays in 2011. First, the guy can still steal a base. Over the past two seasons, Podsednik has 65 SBs, which is good for eighth amongst all Major Leaguers.
If you look at the way the Blue Jays are currently constructed, they don’t have a lot of speed on their team. As a matter of fact, they might be one of the slowest teams in baseball. Podsednik can certainly add a dimension to Toronto that they are lacking right now.
Second, he could be a valuable pinch-hitter off the bench. Podsednik did hit .297 with a .342 OBP in 134 games with the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010.
Podsednik also had a .754 OPS against right-handed pitching. His .754 OPS against right-handed pitching was higher than Michael Young's, Shane Victorino's and Ben Zobrist's. The Blue Jays don’t appear to have a left-handed hitter off the bench, so Podsednik could fill that role.
Podsednik will have to compete with Corey Patterson for a spot on the Blue Jays’ 2011 roster, but since the Jays don’t have a lot of outfield depth right now, I would be shocked if he didn’t make the team out of spring training.
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