The Toronto Blue Jays have had a busy off-season this year, and after dea
ling Vernon Wells
along with one of the worst contracts in the major leagues to the Los Angeles Angels, they were able to pick up some outfield depth in Scott Podsednik
After injury-shortened campaigns in 2007 and 2008, Pods made his triumphant return to the Chicago White Sox in 2009. After a successful 2009 season, Pods signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals in early 2010, though he went from Royal blue to Dodger blue at the trade deadline. Though he struggled in the National League, Podsednik hit a respectable .297, while hitting six home runs, and stealing a cool 35 bases.
However, even with a good year, the 34-year-old had to wait for a team to offer him a deal. Unfortunately for Pods, the Blue Jays, even without Wells, are set with starting outfielders that include Rajai Davis
, Travis Snider
and the recently-acquired Juan Rivera
Though the starting job might not be there to win, it's evident that the team needs a fourth outfielder, seeing is the only player on their depth chart is Adam Lind
. When the Blue Jays traded for Mike Napoli
and Rivera, few thought they would turn around and trade them both, but it seems that the Blue Jays front-office might be doing just that. Shortly after both were acquired, Napoli was sent to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Frank Francisco
. However, the Blue Jays seem quite adamant that they are willing to give up Rivera as well. This could be Scotty Pods best chance to see his way into the starting lineup, even if it would give the Jays one of the weakest power-hitting outfields in the league. Pods, Davis and Snider combined for just 25 home runs last year, six less than Wells hit by himself.
By the end of spring training, I imagine that Podsednik will have made the Jays, although it's not yet evident that anyone is going to give them the type of value that they may be looking for when it comes to Rivera. Although as a plus-defender, a good contact hitter, and a guy with plenty of speed, Podsednik should be of plenty help to the Jays this year off the bench.
As a fantasy player, whether he starts or not, Podsednik is a guy that shouldn't be at the top of your draft list until Rivera is traded, but is definitely worth a flyer in the late rounds. A guy that can steal you 20 bases in a part-time role is never a bad thing.