Royals close to deal with outfielder Scott Podsednik

The Royals were close to signing a deal with outfielder Scott Podsednik on Friday.

Podsednik,  a free agent, is expected to take over the Royals’ center field spot. A speedster, the left-handed batter last season hit .304 for the Chicago White Sox with a .353 on-base percentage and 30 stolen bases.

No terms of the deal, expected to be signed if all went well with a physical examination in Kansas City, were known immediately.

The Royals began last season with Coco Crisp in center field but he was shut down after 49 games and subsequently underwent surgery on both shoulders. The Royals declined their $8-million contract option on Crisp for 2010 and he signed with the Oakland A’s.

The Royals also had talked to agents for prospective center fielders such as Rick Ankiel and Randy Winn but Podsednik had been in their sights most of the offseason. He seemed the most logical fit because he figures as a top-of-the-lineup batter along with left fielder David DeJesus.

The Royals also signed Brian Anderson, another ex-White Sox outfielder, this offseason and have holdover Mitch Maier as another experienced center fielder.

Podsednik, 33, has a .277 career average in nine Major League seasons with Seattle, Milwaukee, Colorado and the White Sox.

–Dick Kaegel

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