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Podsednik declines Dodgers option

Dodgers outfielder Scott Podsednik has declined his portion of a mutual option with the Dodgers.

Podsednik was due to earn $2 million next season in Los Angeles. He obviously opted out because he thought he could get more. But I wonder how much more he will be asking.

Although he isn't much of a defensive outfielder, Podsednik could be the reasonably priced leadoff man that the Redbirds seek. He hit .297 last season between the Dodgers and the Royals and .304 the year before for the White Sox.

Last season Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday volunteered to switch to right field if the Cardinals could find a player to help the team who was only capable of playing left field. So the Birds could find a place to play Podsednik if they wanted him.

The question is, would Podsednik's shoddy defense hurt the team more than his leadoff bat would help? He's a .340 or .350 on base percentage guy. That's better than Skip Schumaker's .328 last season. But it's not any better than Schumaker's career numbers.

But Podsednik would also add an element of team speed -- with 30-plus stolen bases each of the last couple of years -- that the Cardinals haven't had for quite a while.

Ideally, I would like to see the Cardinals find a leadoff sort who could play second base and Schumaker be given a chance to prove he can hit like he used to when he played the outfield by putting him back in the outfield. Specifically, right field.

By doing that, the Cardinals could fix two defensive problems at once -- improving on mediocre play in right field and Schumaker's sub-par infield defense by replacing him with an actual infielder -- while improving the batting order at the same time. But is there a leadoff hitting second sacker out there that the Redbirds could land?