The Boston Red Sox have reached a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies to acquire outfielder Scott Podsednik for cash considerations. The 36 year old outfielder was playing with Philadelphia’s AAA affiliate, Lehigh Valley, on a minor league contract. The Boston Red Sox need outfield depth following the injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, and Jason Repko. The Red Sox have already acquired Marlon Byrd to address this issue. Currently Daniel Nava, Cody Ross and Darnell McDonald has been seeing time in left field.
Podsednik has hit just .203/.289/.216 in AAA thus far this season and his outfield defense has greatly declined since his peak as the Chicago White Sox speedy left fielder and lead off man. Even as battered as the Red Sox outfield is, it is hard to imagine Podsednik being anything more than minor league depth and a replacement for Nava in AAA, at least until he proves he can still play at a high level.
This move will get a lot more attention than it deserves because of Scott Posednik’s past heroics with the White Sox. Given that no one was traded from the Red Sox, it will not mean much to the Red Sox long term and the idea that Podsednik is going to impact the major league roster is extremely far-fetched. While he was a useful player in his last season in the major leagues, that was 2010. He has very rarely been able to hit at league average levels and his defense, which was never great, is now a major liability.
At this point in his career, Podsednik should be well behind Ross, Nava, McDonald and possibly even Lars Anderson. He is not on the Red Sox 40 man roster and without an available space for him, the team would have to expose someone more valuable to clear waivers. He can opt of his minor league deal after June 1 if he is not on the 25 man roster, but with his current level of production, he is unlike to find a spot in the big leagues anywhere. Should the Red Sox be misguided enough to put ephemeral qualities like “veteran leadership” and “grit” over the more tactical ones like replacement level hitting and fielding and actually play Podsednik in the majors, this could hurt them some in the short term, but I don’t see that happen. This is a minor league depth move and despite his name recognition, Podsednik is a minor league player now.