The Dodgers have exercised their half of Scott Podsednik’s mutual option for 2011, meaning the speedy outfielder now has 72 hours to accept the $2 million contract or become a free agent.
Acquired from the Royals at the trading deadline, Podsednik took over for Manny Ramirez in left field and hit just .262/.313/.336 in 39 games. Overall in the past three seasons he’s hit .294 with a .344 on-base percentage and .389 slugging percentage.
Ideally he’d be a fourth outfielder because his lack of power makes him a poor fit as a regular left fielder and he can no longer handle center field defensively, but like most managers Don Mattingly would probably have a tough time limiting him to spot duty.
Asked if Podsednik would be the Dodgers’ starting left fielder, general manager Ned Colletti replied that he’d “have to wait and see” what happens during the offseason. In addition to $2 million in guaranteed money Podsednik could earn another $300,000 in incentives.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.