The talk for a good amount of the offseason has been about the Dodgers need for a right-handed bat. Of course, that talk became more frequent after the team traded right handed bats in Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig.
While the spotlight has been shined at Bryce Harper since that trade — and trust that he is the star of the off-season — there are options out there that make sense, at a fiscally responsible price.
Another name we’ve seen here and there is free agent outfielder AJ Pollock. Pollock is a right-handed swinging outfielder, and has been worth 14.6 WAR on offense in his career. The dude can hit. While he helps this team immensely (plus the Dodgers are the only team that could survive one of his signature injury shortened seasons), I do not see this front office giving up the draft pick required to sign him. If you were unsure, Pollock is a qualifying offer guy.
Undoubtedly the team needs more help on offense, and the preferred handedness is right. And the preferred position is likely outfield.
A New Contender
Enter Adam Jones. Jones is a 33 year old outfielder that has made a career and name for himself with the Baltimore Orioles. While the Dodgers haven’t necessarily been linked to him, he’s still an intriguing option. He hasn’t put up an oWAR under 2 since 2008. He has 266 homeruns in his career. And while his defense eroded in 2018, he’s a 4-time gold glove winner in centerfield.
He also did this one time.
Yes, he robbed his teammate Manny Machado of a homerun. Analysis: cool.
While MLB Trade Rumors ranked him as the 46th best free agent going into the off-season, the rumor mill has been quiet for Mr. Jones.
Why Adam Jones?
In the same way that the Dodgers could manage to survive hypothetical injuries to a potential AJ Pollock, so could they help rest an aging Adam Jones, who’s best days are likely behind him. While he undoubtedly can still hit a good amount, he would benefit greatly from reduced playing time going forward in his career.
The Dodgers, of course, are the kings of the platoon and part time players, much to the chagrin of much of the fan base. While Jones vetoed a trade to the Phillies at last year’s trade deadline due to concerns over playing time, his market this off-season should have him thinking a bit differently for his career going forward. Basically, if you want to play at all, expect to play less first, if that makes enough sense.
Where he fits
With current outfield depth listed as Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles, and two right handed batting infielders named Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor (who might actually be the second baseman), there’s an outstanding need for righty help in the outfield. In a rotation around the outfield, and a reduced role, the San Diego native Adam Jones really could have an impressive year in 2019 and perhaps find that elusive championship close to home.
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