Dodgers exercise their half of Scott Podsednik’s mutual option

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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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.