SAN DIEGO — The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Kansas City Royals for a pair of minor leaguers Wednesday night, trying to replenish their outfield and boost their chances in the NL West.
The trade was announced before Los Angeles played at San Diego. The Dodgers began the day five games behind the division-leading Padres.
With outfielders Reed Johnson and Manny Ramirez on the disabled list, the move gives the Dodgers some versatility, general manager Ned Colletti said.
“It’s tough to tell when they’re going to be back, and if they’re going to have any more issues the rest of the season,” Colletti said. “This is a safeguard against when they return and how they return.”
Colletti said Podsednik can play left or center field.
“He was on a World Series champion with the White Sox. He brings speed,” Colletti said. “He’s obviously a good hitter; he’s over .300. He drives in a lot of runs from a high spot in the order, and he has a lot of speed. He can add a lot of different dimensions to our club.”
The Dodgers hope Podsednik can join them in time for Thursday afternoon’s game against the Padres.
Podsednik hit .310 and stole 30 bases for the Royals this season. He had two hits for Kansas City in its 6-4 loss to Minnesota earlier in the day.
“He’s very good for a team that’s in a pennant race,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said.
“There were several teams that were kicking the tires on Scottie,” Moore said. He said the Dodgers were “the most aggressive.”
Moore said Podsednik was playing his best ball over the last 10 days. “He’s a very exciting player.”
Podsednik is a career .280 hitter with 296 lifetime steals in 10 seasons. He was an All-Star in 2005, when he stole 59 bases and helped the White Sox win the World Series.
Moore said Podsednik probably would’ve had several free-agent options in the offseason, and chances for a long-term deal, and there was no guarantee the Royals would get him for 2011.
“We felt it was the right time to move Scottie,” Moore said.
The 34-year-old Podsednik signed with the Royals as a free agent in January.
Colletti said the talks with Kansas City basically came together in the last 72 hours. He’s due $600,000 the rest of the season, the prorated portion of his $1.6 million salary, and the Dodgers did not ask for any cash from the Royals to defray the cost. Podsednik has a $2 million club option for 2011, with a $100,000 buyout.
Kansas City got catcher Lucas May and right-handed pitcher Elisaul Pimentel from the Dodgers.
The 25-year-old May hit .296 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI at Triple-A Albuquerque. He will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha.
The 22-year-old Pimentel was 9-3 with a 3.49 ERA at Class A Great Lakes in the Class A Midwest League. He will report to Class A Burlington.
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