Is this going to be the start of a trend? One of the bigger dominoes has finally fallen in MLB free agency. This afternoon former Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder, A.J. Pollock, signed on with the Dodgers on a 4 year $55 million contract. Thanks to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic who first reported it. Buster Olney reported the contract details including incentives on the performance based side with an opt out after the third year along with a player option for the fifth year worth $10 million or a $5 million buy out.
Earlier in the off-season, Pollock had been looking for a contract similar to Lorenzo Cain’s contract last off-season of 5 year $80 million. But, just like the past two off-seasons, things seem to be in the owner/General Managers favor.
No matter though, The Dodgers now have their new center fielder. Last year Pollock started out hot, looking like an early 30/30 candidate but soon fell to the DL with a fractured thumb in Mid-May limiting himself to only 113 games in 2018. He ended the season slashing .257/.316/.484– OPS- .800 with 21 home runs, 21 doubles, 5 triples, and 13 steals. Pollock had his best season in 2016 playing in 157 games slashing .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 39 steals, 39 doubles, 6 triples, 79 RBI’s, and 111 runs.
That 2015 season solidified himself as a true 4-5 tool player with arm strength being the only tool in question because he also earned himself a gold glove that same season. The only knack on Pollock that holds him back from being one of the premier center fielders in the game is his vulnerability to the injury bug. Pollock missed all of the 2016 season besides 12 games because of an elbow fracture caused by a slide into home. 2017 he had groin issues and hasn’t been able to shake the bug since. If Pollock get rid that evil disease they call injury, he would insert himself back into the conversation between the best centerfielders in the game.
Pollock looks to be the guy in 2019 patrolling centerfield for the 2019 Dodgers. With this move, it looks like Cody Bellinger will be moving back to first base with Pollock evening out a lefty heavy lineup. Things have looked worse in LA.
Also, Reliever Brad Brach and former Brave great agreed to sign with the Chicago Cubs and former Giants reliever Hunter Strickland agreed to sign with the Seattle Mariners. Nothing official ATM.