Trade Forum: Will Scott Podsednik Be Traded?

The rumor of the hour is that teams are interested in acquiring Scott Podsednik. Will it happen?

Pros:

  • Pods looks the part. He fits the role of fast outfielder guy to maybe lead-off and steal bases well. This is why every time it looks like his career is over, he gets another shot.
  • He's insanely hot at the moment. On June 20th he was hitting .282. Today, he's hitting .310. And batting average is relevant here because that's basically his entire game and the foundation of half of his reputation, along with steals. Since June 20th, he's hit .366/.397/.492.
  • Thanks to that hot streak, his season numbers are now some of the best of his career (though 2003 is still the best). He's got that shiny .310 batting average to go along with 30 steals.
  • Since washing out in Colorado in 2008, Pods has rebounded with back to back ok seasons. The Royals can point to the narrative of how he's remade his swing and corrected his game. His 2009 and 2010 numbers are now nearly identical, and since 2008 he's hit .306/.353/.407 in 1017 plate appearances.
  • Is only owed around $700,000 for the rest of the season.
  • Cons:

    • Defense isn't an asset, but he's probably not killing you out there either. Speed saves him because routes can be bad. Arm is bad.
    • He gets you steals, but he's not actually a very efficient base-stealer. Prone to being picked off and caught stealing.
    • His game is batting average heavy. He walks a little, but he really only has a good OBP if he's hitting over .300. Pods has become an even more extreme slap hitter in KC. His low number of doubles (8) is astounding. Last year he had 31 2B+3B, this year, he has just 14.
    • Trading for an extremely hot player could also be seen as "buying high" or getting him when he's due to cool off (gambler's fallacy). I could see a GM thinking something along those lines.
    • Unless he gets injured, he will play enough to void his 2011 club option. This could also be a Pro.

    Verdict: The combination of the team's recent misfortunes afield, along with Podsednik's hot streak, seems to have made a trade more likely. Moore may be more willing to trade now, and Pods is certainly more attractive. Pods has had an up and down career, and 2010 is one of his better seasons. He's always been an overrated player, but a part of me wonders if the stathead community has done their own under-rating of him. A .350 OBP with speed isn't un-useful, even if that's all you're getting. His wOBA this season is .335, 25th among AL OFs. That's a good, not great, not terrible season. Interestingly, he's just ahead of Ichiro, which confirms that he's the Poor Man's Ichiro: a bad Ichiro season equals a good Pods season.

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