You wanted a rumor to come to fruition? It happened. The Los Angeles Dodgers and AJ Pollock have agreed to a four-year deal worth somewhere in the $55 million. The deal also includes opt-outs and is highly incentivized. Pollock will be staying in the NL West after having played the last seven seasons in Arizona.
The move comes at a pretty good price. From the looks of things, the $12.5 million a year the center fielder is set to make is a bit of a compromise financially for a player that, despite missing significant time due to injuries, is probably worth more. However, the Dodgers appear to be recompensating the 31-year-old Pollock with a four-year bind.
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Pollock’s addition to the roster should be interesting as it all depends on how healthy he can stay. Over the last three seasons combined, Pollock has played a total of 237 games, just 48.7% of possible appearance opportunities. Flashback to 2015, the last time Pollock played a full season, and he was an all-star hitting .315 with 20 home runs.
The Dodgers appear to be okay with the gamble. Pay the years for the player that may or may not stay healthy and whatever they do get in the long run, they will be fine with it.
That strategy is not unheard of for teams in the Dodgers scenario. The team is pushing to make a run back to the World Series and the players, like Pollock, that bring high upside potential are often worth the risk. This is especially the case when a team has a farm system similar to what the Dodgers are working with.
But the intrigue in this deal is surprisingly not in the signing. It’s in what may come with it.
The Dodgers have been rumored to be looking for a partner in a Joc Pederson trade and are currently being strongly linked to JT Realmuto. Signing Pollock could free up both Pederson and Alex Verdugo in potential trades thus, the Pollock signing may be the domino that gets the set falling.
To revert back to the deal, it’s interesting. Pollock is a great player when healthy and he hits well from the right side of the plate. Is it lengthy for an injury prone player who is not young? Yes. But, the Dodgers may have struck gold at just $12.5 million a year. More to come on this.