A.J. Pollock is still available and the Dodgers might be interested in him.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 19, 2019
I then ran a poll, with an assist from Dodgers Nation, about the fans feelings about the Dodgers acquiring Pollock. You are welcome for the great misspelling seen by thousands.
Do you want A.J. Pollack on the Dodgers?
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) January 19, 2019
Who Is A.J. Pollock
Pollock was born and raised in Hebron, Connecticut in 1987. He went to college at Notre Dame and was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the first round in 2009. His major league debut came during the 2012 season. The 2019 season will be his age 31 season and will be his seventh full season in the Major Leagues. He throws and bats right handed.
All statistics are from FanGraphs. For the 2018 season his fWAR was 2.4 and he is projected to have an fWAR of 3.1 in 2019.
Disabled list appearances in Pollock’s Major League career:
- 2014 fractured right hand – DL from 6/1/14 to 9/2/14
- 2016 fractured right elbow – DL from 4/2/16 to 8/26/16
- 2017 right groin strain – DL from 5/15/17 to 7/4/17
- 2018 left thumb fracture – DL from 5/15/18 to 7/2/18
Games played since 2013, his first full season:
- 2013 – 137
- 2014 – 75
- 2015 – 157
- 2016 – 12
- 2017 – 112
- 2018 – 113
[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/2018-dodgers-player-reviews-manny-machado/2019/01/04/” color=”blue” alignment=”center”]2018 DODGERS PLAYER REVIEWS: MANNY MACHADO[/button]
Ramifications for signing him
Rumors have it that Pollock would want a contract equivalent to the one that Lorenzo Cain signed with the Brewers before the 2018 season. Cain got a 5 year/$80M contract going into his year 32 season. There are some similarities, including some injury history for Cain but it is nothing like Pollock’s. Cain’s games played from 2013 to 2017 was 115, 133,140, 103 and 155. MLB Trade Rumors predicted a 4/$60M contract for Pollock.
Qualifying Offer Compensation
A.J. Pollock was given a qualifying offer from the Diamondbacks that he turned down. If the Dodgers were to sign Pollock, or any other QO free agent, they would lose their second pick of the draft and $500K of international spending money. The bonus money lost for losing the second pick would be $900K-$1M.
The current Dodger starting lineup, by position is probably:
Pollock is rated as an above average outfielder and can play anywhere in the outfield. I’m not sure who he’d replace but they’d probably end up trading Pederson or Verdugo in a big trade. This just popped up:
— Jason Kinander (@JasonKinander) January 20, 2019
Since the Dodgers big need seems to be a right handed hitter that can hit lefties what does Pollock have to offer? In 2018 Pollock had an OBP of .277 with a slugging percentage of .464. His wRC+ was under league average against lefties at 91 but for his career it is 116. The projections have his total wRC+ of 108, which is under his 2018 wRC+ of 110.
The injuries are the biggest red flag. I believe his overall numbers would be better but he ends up having long stops and starts. Missing 2-3 months then trying to get going again is difficult. In four of his last 6 seasons he has missed significant periods of the season. Given that he’s looking for a 5/$80M contract, he is a huge risk.
The lack of huge productions against left-handers, the possible cost, the injuries and the QO compensation lost are just too many factors against Pollock. He is talented but there are too many question marks. If the Dodgers are not going to sign Bryce Harper I don’t see Pollock as a good risk. Someone such as Adam Jones could be a much lower risk and might be a better idea. I’d rather go big with Harper or go minimal with someone like Jones.
[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-rumor-increased-chatter-surrounding-a-j-pollock/2019/01/19/” type=”big” color=”red”]DODGERS RUMOR: INCREASED CHATTER SURROUNDING A.J. POLLOCK[/button]