The Boston Red Sox aren’t done with trading for veteran outfielders, as the team acquired veteran base-stealer Scott Podsednik from the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations. According to Alex Speier, he will report to Triple-A.
The Red Sox were scouting the 36-year-old outfielder a few weeks ago, and it is important to note that Podsednik has not appeared in a Major League game since the 2010 season. In 2011, Podsednik had a .340 OBP in the minors and also had a usually meager .396 slugging percentage (career .340 OBP and .381 slugging in Majors).
Scott Podsednik is the left-handed hitter that Boston was looking for, but it’s baffling as to why they were looking for him in the first place. Acquiring a vastly declining outfielder just because he’s a lefty? Sounds like something beyond overreacting. The Marlon Byrd acquisition was justifiable, but adding another outfielder in Podsednik is confounding. They don’t need to add an old, subpar OF to play in backup role, because they already have better guys; they already have quantity.
At least, Boston parted ways with basically nothing to get him. Even so, Boston is creating a future problem with the mass of bodies in the outfield. It’s difficult to call the addition of an outfielder while giving cash considerations a terrible trade, but it is a poor one that makes little sense.
In the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Scott Podsednik had a 99 wRC+ in both years, but his WAR totals were far different. After a 2009 season in which he was worth a decent 2.3 WAR, many said that he had resurrected his career after three poor seasons prior to ’09. In 2010, his UZR fell to -11.6, but he still stole 30+ bases and was as good of a hitter. However, that decline in UZR accounted for a poor 0.7 WAR year.
Not much is expected of Podsednik in 2012, and he is viewed as a 0.5-1 WAR player by most, and the defensive decline looks legitimate. He is a poor defensive player by all accounts, and DRS agreed that his defense was atrocious in 2010.
As a hitter, Podsednik reached base at a .342 clip, but he did have two lucky BABIP totals in 2009 and 2010. He struck out a little more in ’10, but his walk numbers were the same and he had a lower OBP. As the years roll on, Scott Podsednik has been chasing at more pitches and is receiving more first-pitch strikes as a result and less pitches in the zone. In 2010, he saw under 50% of the pitches against him in the strike zone for the first time since 2003.
All signs point to Podsednik being a marginal, 0.5 WAR player with awful defense and below-average, 90 wRC+ hitting. He isn’t a terrible hitter and is still a threat on the bases, but his defense is poor. This acquisition is just like Podsednik’s hitting; it isn’t terrible, but it’s subpar. I get that he probably won’t even make the Majors, but that fact doesn’t make the deal look any better; it’s just a waste of time.
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