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Should The Dodgers Sign A.J. Pollock?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: AJ Pollock #42 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

A.J. Pollock is still available and the Dodgers might be interested in him.

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.

Who Is A.J. Pollock

Background

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.

Statistical Breakdown

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.

Injury History

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

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Ramifications for signing him

Possible Contracts

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.

Lineup

The current Dodger starting lineup, by position is probably:

C – Austin Barnes/Russell Martin
1B – Max Muncy
2B – Chris Taylor/Enrique Hernandez
SS – Corey Seager
3B – Justin Turner
LF – Joc Pederson/CT3/Kiké
CF – Cody Bellinger
RF – Alex Verdugo

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:

Analysis

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.

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Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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  1. Additional slash lines for consideration: .220/.269/.384/.653; Pollock’s career at Dodgers Stadium. One could argue that isn’t a big deal because he was facing Dodgers pitching, but Pollock’s career slash line against Dodgers’ pitching is .291/.352/.532/.884. Pollock rakes in Chase Field.

  2. Exactly my point another player that has great numbers at Chase Field. The guys that play in AZ or CO you need to closely examine their slash lines in other parks. Thanks SoCalBum who as usual gives us great information.
    Losing a draft pick, international signing money, the injury risk, the poor numbers at Dodger Stadium and the length of contract he is asking would all add up to a definite No vote.

  3. Dodgers, I am sure would consider those slash lines away from Chase Field,loss of draft pick, and International signing$$$ and like most of this ‘talk’ this off season, it’s just a simple rumor for now as far as I know. His career slash line against LHP is not too shabby however…..275/.327/.498 with a wRC* of 116. So far it is just talk and nothing more

  4. I don’t understand why Magic et al let Friedman act like it’s HIS money the team is spending. The 2019 team is much worse than last years team and yet the F.O. is acting like the team has improved. Big deal at winning the division every year. Like going to the World Series and getting humiliated is a feather in the Dodger’s cap.

    • And the fact is that NO TEAM will win it’s division every year. This current 2019 team as it stands now won’t have to worry about being humiliated again in the WS. Some other NL team most likely will be in there but wss.

    • Brad there is a Cap on a teams overall baseball budget and after a team goes over there are monetary damages that escalate. The Dodgers are a business it is Financial Insanity to have to pay tens of millions of dollars in fines.
      I believe that even if there are no more players added through trade or free agency this team will win more games than last.

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