Mariners Analysis

Monday, June 14, 2004

M's should take a look at Scott Podsednik...

First of all, when you play a series at Milwaukee, you are going to have to dig deep to find something of interest. And for the Mariners, that something of interest is Scott Podsednik.

What the Brewers have found is that Podsednik is not a bad center fielder. Has some pop in his bat, good speed, and plays some D. I don't think anyone would argue that he is certainly an upgrade over Randy Winn, and at $400,000 is significantly cheaper. The money saved would have enabled the M's to use that additional money on the big-time bat they need.

However, the M's had no use for Mr. Podsednik, and Milwaukee picked him up off the scrapheap for nothing. The M's developed him, and Milwaukee benefits. Good if you're a Brewers fan.

Now before we jump all over the M's front office, we certainly have to look back at the M's over the past several years. If you have a CF in your organization who is getting on in years, and hasn't really put up any eye-opening numbers, what do you do with him? It's not like there was a huge interest in the guy as far as a trade, and with this organization having Griffey and Cameron roaming Center, when did you plan on getting him some at-bats?

So for the M's, clearly this is not a gaffe on the order of trading say, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Or Billy Swift. Or Mike Hampton. No, Podsednik is a decent player who just didn't really fit in with the M's during their heyday of veterans winning 90+ games. Bad timing certainly played a part in all of this.

But the lesson for the front-office is clear- the only way to know if there are other Scott Podsednik's in your organization is to play them!!! Someone like Podsednik- hitting 25 home runs, getting on base, playing solid defense- would sure come in handy right now. And it is certain there are guys capable of doing this in the M's organization. With a season like we are having today, giving at-bats to guys like Borders and Cabrera later in the season is criminal. We need to start investing in our future and seeing what the Jamal Strong's of the world can do.

Now before I get too carried away, let me be clear that Podsednik is not the greatest CF to play the game. He is 28 years old, expected to be a backup, and is having a nice season. I have heard some people practically start crying when his name comes up, and I think they are getting carried away. Every team makes mistakes, and for the M's this one doesn't come close to cracking the top 20.

Instead, the M's need to recognize that they are rebuilding this season, whether they like it or not, and need to have as much information as possible during the offseason. The M's only need look at the starting center fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers to remind them.