Podsednik a free agent after declining option
Veteran was acquired by Dodgers from Royals at Trade Deadline
LOS ANGELES -- Outfielder Scott Podsednik on Thursday declined a mutual option for 2011 and became a free agent.
The Dodgers exercised their part of the $2 million option for the 34-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from Kansas City before the Trade Deadline for two Minor Leaguers. He had until midnight Thursday to exercise or decline his side of the mutual option.
An eight-year veteran, Podsednik hit .262 with a home run and seven RBIs in 39 games after being acquired for Lucas May and Jesus Pimental. But he missed the last three weeks of the season with plantar fasciitis of his left foot, which did not require surgery. The painful condition afflicts the ligament connecting the heel to the toes.
While healthy, Podsednik took over left field before and after Manny Ramirez's departure to the White Sox and also served as the leadoff hitter before and after shortstop Rafael Furcal returned from the disabled list. In 134 combined games, he batted .297 with 35 steals, 63 runs, six home runs and 51 RBIs.
With Matt Kemp in center field and Andre Ethier in right, Podsednik could have become the starter in left field. But more likely he would have worked in a platoon with Casey Blake if the Dodgers acquire a power-hitting third baseman or be a fourth outfielder if the Dodgers acquire a power bat to play left.
Podsednik's club option called for a $2 million salary in 2011 or a $100,000 buyout. Podsednik earned the right to void the deal and become a free agent by reaching 525 plate appearances this past season.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.