The Dodgers on Thursday morning signed free-agent outfielder A.J. Pollock to a multi-year contract, according to multiple sources.
Exact terms of the deal are still somewhat sketchy. Jeff Passan indicated that both sides were discussing a pact in the five-year, $60 million range. Jon Heyman reported that the deal was in excess of $55 million. And Bob Nightengale stated that the contract is for five years with four years guaranteed.
Buster Olney reported that Pollock has already passed the required physical.
In 2018 for the Diamondbacks, the right-handed hitting Pollock appeared in 113 games, the most since his 2015 season when he logged 157. In those 113 games last season, the Connecticut native slashed .257/.316/.484 with 21 doubles, 21 long balls and 65 RBI along with 13 swiped bags. Overall, Pollock contributed a 2.5 WAR last year.
The 2015 season was Pollock’s benchmark campaign. He was recognized as an All-Star and snagged a Gold Glove. He ended up hitting .315/.367/.498 with 39 doubles, 20 homers and 76 RBI alongside 39 stolen bases and 111 runs scored. He put up a 7.2 WAR in 2015 alone.
What’s even more impressive is the consistency of his career splits, something that the Dodgers seem to be lacking, forcing the club to employ numerous platoon scenarios. Pollock has a career .284/.343/.454 with 44 HR in 1578 AB against righty pitching, while hitting .275/.327/.498 with 30 long balls over 699 AB against southpaws. He’s a career .283/.343/.461 hitter when batting leadoff, and he has slashed .298/.350/.478 when hitting out of the two-hole.
Pollock is a center fielder by trade, which will result in some roster consequences for the Dodgers. If there are no depending trades (Joc Pederson or Alex Verdugo) Cody Bellinger may be relegated to first base, although he does have the capability to cover right field. If that’s the case, Max Muncy could end up seeing plenty of action at second base, pushing Chris Taylor into a platoon in left field with Pederson, while allowing Enrique Hernandez to maintain his super-utility role.
If anything, this deal strengthened the Los Angeles roster, but it created many more questions in terms of positional duties. But, more than anything else, it gives the Dodgers a legit leadoff hitter, something they’ve been lacking for some time, at least in the traditional sense.
Pollock’s past injuries have ranged from a broken hand, an elbow fracture, a groin strain, and a thumb fracture, but the Dodgers are banking on good health. Nevertheless, there should be plenty of resources available for Pollock not to be needed to play every day.
If you were able to catch our very early 25-man roster projections a few weeks back, Pollock’s inclusion seemingly bumps outfielder Andrew Toles out of the Opening Day picture for the time being.
As the smoked cleared on the Pollock deal around lunchtime, Heyman noted that the Dodgers remain in pursuit of Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto.
Most significantly, the signing of Pollock seemingly eliminated the Dodgers from the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
109 thoughts on “Dodgers Sign A.J. Pollock to Multi-Year Deal”
I agree Joc needs to drop about 15lbs
I want the old 30/30 Joc that he was in the minors. I know he hasn’t lost all his speed already. What’s the deal with that? Do you think it’s more about him gaining weight or the Dodgers just don’t let him steal as much?
I think that’s the biggest difference between Friedman and Roberts. Friedman feels the risk of stolen bases doesn’t outweigh the reward, while Roberts feels that SBs are still a critical pert of the game.
I hope machado and Harper end up in the AL