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Kicking the Tires: Scott Podsednik

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With the offseason not officially beginning until the end of the World Series (and that could be four weeks from now, if both the league championships and World Series go to a full seven games), there's some time to just bounce trade and free agent ideas around. Throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

(Patrick Hayes sort of led us off with his suggestions of Milton Bradley and Justin Duchscherer.)

So here's my random attempt for today: Should the Detroit Tigers make a run at Scott Podsednik?

First of all, he'd fill two big needs for the Tigers next season. He plays left field (though defensively, he's not much better than what the Tigers already have, according to UZR). And perhaps most importantly, he'd give the lineup a capable leadoff hitter. Podsednik batted .304/.353/.412 in 587 plate appearances this past season with seven homers, 48 RBIs, and 30 stolen bases (in 43 attempts).

While his OPS (.764) and walk totals (39) don't exceed those of Curtis Granderson (.780 OPS, 72 walks), Podsednik has batted leadoff virtually his entire career and knows that's what he is. No confusion as to whether or not he should be a RBI man or home run slugger. Podsednik also hits left-handed pitching well (.267/.330/.354 career), so the Tigers wouldn't necessarily have to change their lineup based on platoon splits.

One other benefit? Signing him would hurt a division rival. The White Sox want Podsednik back. And it appears likely he'll re-sign with them. But why assume that's a done deal? Podsednik said he intends to test the free agent market.

(The "Tiger Beat" contingent of the BYB community might point to Podsednik's looks as another benefit. And hey, he's a good-looking guy. Even Ryan Field might get jealous.)

How much would he cost? Podsednik signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox last season, after being released by the Rockies. He made $800,000 after getting called up to the majors. Podsednik will surely find a raise on the open market, but how much of one? Could the Tigers bring him in for less than $2 million?

One possible downside? Podsednik is 34 years old, and looked done as a major league ballplayer before this past season. In 2007 and 2008, he batted .243 and .253. Staying healthy has been a problem for Podsednik in recent years, though he believes a change in workout regimen made a big difference for him this season. Regardless, if he's looking for a longer-term contract, that should probably be enough to drive interest down.

So is this one that could stick to the wall, or should we wipe it off and look elsewhere? What do you guys think of Podsednik as someone the Tigers could pursue this winter?