The Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik along with right-hander Matt Albers from the Red Sox for left-hander Craig Breslow just two days ago. However, the team announced Podsednik’s release this afternoon. What gives?
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Podsednik was granted his release after refusing an assignment to Triple-A Reno. I’m not sure if there’s a way the Diamondbacks could have cleared the possibility of a minor league assignment with Podsednik before acquiring him, but his inclusion in the deal looks even more odd now. Of course, Albers was the real centerpiece of the deal from Arizona’s perspective and Podsednik is nothing more than organizational depth at this point in his career, so the Diamondbacks probably aren’t going to lose any sleep over it.
Podsednik, 36, batted .387/.409/.484 with one home run, seven RBI, six stolen bases and an .893 OPS in 19 games with the Red Sox earlier this season prior to being placed on the disabled list in mid-June with a strained groin. He was playing with Triple-A Pawtucket for a little over a month prior to the trade to Arizona.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.