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Maybe I need to actually listen to those Hot Stove shows on 610. I mean, come on… Who would have thought anything meaningful would have come from a conversation between Dayton Moore and Ryan Lefebvre? Thankfully, Will at Royals Review listened, and he posted last night that Dayton revealed the Royals were close to signing a “speedy outfielder” and speculated it was Scott Podsednik.

Kudos to Will for nailing this one, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the Royals will announce the signing of Podsednik following a physical on Friday.

Podsednik will be 34 next March has based his time in the majors entirely on his legs. That’s why I’m betting that Moore signed him to a two year deal. Of course, that would be insane. That’s why I think it will be for two years. Yes, this is all speculation on my part. I’m sure details will trickle out soon.

Podsednik’s best offensive year of his career came in 2003 – his rookie season. That year in Milwaukee, he hit .314/.379/.443 with an OPS+ of 116. Those numbers all remain career highs. Defensively, he’s not very good. Yes, he’s fast, but he has a weak arm and doesn’t cover as much ground as you might think. His UZR/150 over the last three seasons was: 6.5, -17.0, -2.3. The Royals will obviously use him in center, but he was primarily a left fielder for the Sox. So it all fits together…

Best year of his career more than five years ago? Check.

Bounce back year the previous season? Check.

Not a regular at the position where the Royals will use him? Check.

Speed? Check.

Steve Rosenbloom, a beat writer for the Chicago Tribune had this to say about Pods in his end of the year blog:

“What does it say when a guy who s bad on defense and worse as a baserunner considering his speed is the best this team can do at leadoff?”

Wow. I wonder what he’s talking about when he mentions baserunning. According to Bill James, Pods took home from second base on a single 12 out of 16 opportunities. That’s really good. He made only three outs on the bases all year. (That figure obviously doesn’t count caught stealing. Sometimes, Billy Butler can make three outs on the bases in a single game.) He was rated as a +12 on the bases last summer and has consistently posted positive figures on base running net gain. There are a ton of reasons not to like this signing, but I think we’ll be fine with his baserunning. If he can get on base.

Last year, Pods had a 1.7 WAR. CHONE has him projected at .271/.333/.367 next year with a 0.7 WAR in over 400 at bats.

More details as they become available…