Red Sox taking advantage of Podsednik's good health

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Red Sox taking advantage of Podsednik's good health

MIAMI -- A year ago, Scott Podsednik spent the entire season in the minor leagues. As recently as six weeks ago, he was stuck at Lehigh Valley of the International League, hitting just .197.

Now, however, Podsednik is frequently hitting leadoff for the Red Sox and since being promoted from Pawtucket on May 22. He had a season-high three hits Monday and is hitting .405 with the Sox.

"He's been great," enthused Bobby Valentine. "Top (of the lineup), bottom . . . wherever he's hitting, he's played a great brand of baseball for us. He's an aggressive guy whose confidence is something our team needs to see. And he's performing well. Heck, when you're hitting .400 and stealing bases (four in five attempts) when you get the opportunity and scoring runs, you're doing a pretty good job."

Valentine believes that Podsednik's recent resurgence is the result of better health. A series of nagging injuries dogged the outfielder for the better part of the last two seasons, but at 36, he's as healthy now as he's been in some time.

"He's feeling much better than he has in a while," said Valentine. "When you have 100-percent health, you can perform. It's the only chance you have to perform at a high level and he's doing that."

Having been successful in 80 percent of stolen base attempts, Podesednik doesn't possess the raw speed that once enabled him to average 53 steals from 2003-2006. But his baseball intelligence and instincts have made up for whatever speed he's lost.

"He takes the best lead of anyone on our team," said Valentine. "He takes it in the proper place, he has very good technique when he starts and understands how to slide. His start and his finish is what makes him good.

"I don't know what his speed was or is (now), other than it's functional."

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.  

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020. 
 
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration. 

Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.