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Dodgers Reportedly Sign A.J. Pollock

We’ve been hearing these rumors for a while now, but it’s finally official. The Dodgers are signing outfielder A.J. Pollock. The club has yet to officially announce the deal and it’s pending a physical. But it appears that the Dodgers are adding the veteran right handed hitting outfielder on a four-year 55 million dollar contract. according to reports the deal is a guaranteed contract that will have incentives and opt-outs.

This confirms what I already knew, that the Dodgers will not be signing Bryce Harper. Apparently the deal still keeps the Dodgers just below the luxury tax threshold (whoopeee!!!) but they’ll lose some international bonus pool money and will give up their second highest pick in the 2019 draft.

I’m ok with the Dodgers signing Pollock. He is a productive player when he’s healthy. That’s the only thing that would worry me, is his history of injuries. When healthy, Pollock is a good player. He’s got power, speed and plays a good outfield. His right handed bat will balance out the Dodger’s lefty heavy lineup. I’m assuming the Dodgers will put him in center field for the majority of his playing time. We don’t know yet what that means for the Dodger’s other outfielders.

Will Cody Bellinger move back to first base? Does that push Max Muncy to second? What will happen to Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, and youngster Alex Verdugo? Will The Dodgers trade any of those guys? Will they just platoon everyone around the diamond again? Will Pollock start kissing the new hitting coach like Puig used to do? So many questions and so few answers right now. We’ll have more on this later.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

19 thoughts on “Dodgers Reportedly Sign A.J. Pollock

  1. Meh… could have kept Puig for less. Not much difference strengthwise.

    31 yr old, injury prone. Too much money/years for that. Gonna’ be stuck with another big contract to have to unload in a year or two.

    Looks like “Platoonsville” is alive and well in Doyertown. Toles?, Verdugo?, Pederson?, Bellinger (back to 1B?), CT3 and Muncy “”Platoon” at 2B? Inny-Minny-Moe lineup again, so nothing new.

    Thank You Friedman. Might as well postpone your State of the 2019 Doyers, address to your Loyal Dodger Season Ticket Holder Fans this year. You can just release the last two year’s addresses. Dodger Fans, expect much of the same nonsense in 2019.

  2. Meh… could have kept Puig for less. No improvement strenthwise. I would prefer the younger Puig.

    31 yr old, injury prone…. way too much (money and years). Will be just another hefty salary to dump in one or two years.

    Looks like Platoonsville is alive and well in Doyertown. Bellinger back to 1B? Toles, Verdugo, Pederson? CT3 and Muncy”platoon” at 2B? “Inny-Meanie-Minny-Moe” lineup, for sure.

    Thank You Friedman. Might as well postpone your “State of the 2019 Doyers” address to your loyal Dodger Season Ticket Holders. They don’t need to listen to a repeat of the last two years… they will show up, anyway. Dodger Fans, look for more of the same in 2019. No World Series ring yet, Boyz in Blew.

    1. Puig will be a FA after 2019 and Dodgers probably had no intentions of re-signing him or giving him a QO. BTW, the draft pick and international signing money we lose with signing Pollock is being made up with what we gain in those areas from the Brewers who signed Grandal.

  3. Just not impressed. I’m glad we didn’t strangle ourselves with a 10 yr contract for Brace Hyper though.

    However, the RAMS are going to the SuperBowl, so you can’t knock the smile off my face (although Friedman is trying too).

    Let’s compare: Friedman/Roberts v. Snead/McVay
    Never mind, it’s pretty obvious to us all

    GO RAMS!!!

    1. I agree. This is a sideways move but at least it takes us even more out of the Harper discussions (though I think Friedman was not that serious in the first place, as everything they’ve been doing is trying to stay under the lux tax long term).

      Another move we could have made – Brach was just signed by the Cubs for one year at US$3 million, with a team option as well as a buyout. This would have been a very good move for us. Sigh.

  4. I think this is an attempt to balance out the lineup as well as getting Bellinger less time in OF.

    I’m not confident Pollack is the answer in CF. His power will evaporate playing at Dodgers Stadium and I think he’s lost a step. An OF of Verdugo, Pollack, Pederson and Toles is the definition of “meh” unless one of them breaks out an All Star season and the rest remain replacement level. If not for the pettiness of getting rid of players who didn’t appreciate being platooned, we could have just traded Puig for prospects and kept Kemp (remember we took salary back). Kemp is a reliable bat and he was ok in LF last year.

    Anyways, Toles should be given the chance to play some CF and platoon with Pollack and Taylor, and both Taylor and Kike can also play second with Muncy, putting Bellinger at first. Taylor is also Seager insurance.

    As of now we’re still very weak at second and over reliant on a full recovery on the part of young Seager. Depth comes and goes in a blink of an eye.

  5. Guess I am going to have to name Friedman Dummy2. Why would you trade Puig who is a better hitter and fielder than Pollock and also cheaper to get Pollock who is injury prone at the least? It makes no sense unless you say that was the only way to get rid of Kemp and Wood which is also stupid since the team had to take Homer Bailey who they immediately released. Really, really stupid. Maybe they have something else in mind? Nah, they won’t spend anymore money. No Harper or Manny for sure although I did hear the Dodgers just may have interest in Manny since the jury is still out on Seager. Anyway Dummy 2 continues.

  6. First off, the Dodgers didn’t trade Puig to get Pollack. The Dodgers traded Puig to get rid of him and some of the other baggage that they didn’t want any longer. It’s not really hard to see that the Dodgers were not in love with Puig. Why is it so difficult for some posters to see this? Does anyone really think that Puig lived up to his hype at the plate? I certainly don’t. Defensively, I liked him a lot.
    I won’t miss the atrocious mistakes on the base path that he often makes.

    Now, whether Pollack was a smart signing or not, remains to be seen. Keep in mind that Pollock was an All Star and Gold Glove winner in 2015. He’s got skills as Scott mentioned above. OTOH, he has had injuries, but the thumb injury seems kind of like a fluke, similar to what happened to JT last year. I see no reason to doubt he can get back to his old form. JT came back with a roar!

    The only questionable aspect of this acquisition for me is the ‘right hand bat’ aspect that the team needs. Pollock is far weaker batting against lefties than RH pitching. So, I don’t see this as a ‘solution’ for their lack of RH batters in the lineup. Maybe our new batting coach will be able to help him out.

    Pollock can also play in LF in case anyone was wondering. Pollock/Belli/Verdugo is a nice OF. Many feel Muncy will get the nod at 1B with Freese ready to step in. At 2B, we could see Kike platooning with Taylor or even Muncy. Kike might even win the 2B job. He batted very well in the 2nd half of last season and many feel he will breakout this season. His defense is also good.

    Some fans here thought the FO was done and dusted for any new deals. Wrong again. Don’t bet against another deal happening before ST.

    1. I don’t think anyone questions “another deal happening before ST”, I think people question how significant of a deal. Shoot Friedman has made a number of deals this off=season, only the latest really was of much note, don’t even get me started on the deal of getting Martin. I think the area that is problematic is in the area of pitching, both starters and bullpen, IMO both areas are actually weaker than last year. So Jeff, don’t take it personal regarding the deals that have or have not been made, unless you are working in the FO, otherwise you are just some poor schmuck, like the rest of us, making comments and throwing out ideas. You don’t need to go down the Brutus road of asshole posters, just relax and have some fun.

      1. True Blue, I don’t take any of this personally. It has nothing to do with my life. Did I say something that offended you?

    2. Such as, perhaps, JT Realmuto?

      Kiebert Ruiz + Pederson (w/perhaps a 3rd team) should in theory lay the groundwork for a deal that the Marlins can finally accept.

    3. We see it Jeff. The question is why is Puig shipped off with zero blame on the coaching staff and the FO? And getting rid of Ward, who’s been able to get Puig to produce despite everything (and is reunited with Puig in Cincinnati)? The coaches and the FO have a duty to work with and motivate players who are producing for less money. It’s a cop out to turn a blind eye to inabilities of the management but blame Puig (and note that in fact Puig has improved the last two years after Mattingly left).

      1. I think it is more complicated, YF. If Ward was such a great batting coach, why would they be willing to let him go? I don’t think the FO was committed to Puig or to Ward. We had all kinds of problems using Ward’s strategies with our position players. The all or nothing approach was a liability and Ward is all about that.

        This FO is not perfect as we all know. But there are factors that none of us know about that comes into play in their decision making. Sometimes mistakes are made, but they’ve pulled the team into major contention is spite of being labeled ‘dummies’. This is a business, first and foremost, for most owners. The FO has to work with the demands of ownership as well as the actual members of the team and its minor league affiliates. The complexities are enormous, methinks. As fans, we tend to look only at what’s on the field. And, we don’t know what is in the mind’s of the FO and where it is trying to take the team. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team with fans conflicted as much about the players and FO as we have here with the Dodgers, yet they are a winning organization. How do you explain that?

  7. I feel like with Zaidi up north and a sense of trust and lack of stigma, that the Giants and Dodgers can line up for a trade. Will Smith could help the Dodgers pen greatly. Giants sorely need a prospect or two. Who would you give up for Smith? Mitchell White plus another lower level prospect?

  8. Package, Pollock is an excellent fielder. He is a natural CF which allows the Dodger to play Bellinger where he belongs, at 1st base, and he had only 2 less homers than Puig did last year in a lot less games. He made 1 error all year out there in CF. He also knows where the cutoff man is. He steals bases and is a very good lead off hitter. Give the guy a chance. See how he does in spring. They have been trying to unload Puig ever since they took over and finally got it done. He is gone, that is that. Nothing we as fans can do to change that. Look at it this way, Pollock has an opt out in year 3. They did not saddle themselves with 2 huge 10 year plus deals in Machado and Harper. Are they good enough to win the World Series? Probably not, but after 4 years of watching Friedman, we all know his tendencies and this is actually a break through of sorts since it is the first time he has given a free agent from another team more than a 3 year deal, and it is for barely more than he paid Hill for 3 years. Sorry Ryan, I am not trading Ruiz for a 2 year rental. The kid is very skilled and only 20. Most players traded to LA do not have the same offensive stats they had before. Yes, Realmuto is a fine catcher, but he does nothing to alleviate the problem they have with lefty’s. And you can pretty much forget dealing with the Giants. Even though the stigma of trading within the division is not as strong as it once was, at least for Friedman, Giant fans are going to go ballistic if Faidi does anything to help the Dodgers. And you can pretty much guess he knows this.

    1. Michael I wish I share your optimism about Pollock, but I just think he’s going to flop. His batting stats will fall off a cliff. And my eyes tell me he’s not the same CF as he was in 2015, and even that year o did not think he should have won the gold glove, but that’s just me. Puig should have won the last two gold gloves, but that’s just me also.

      We will see. I’d love to eat crow on this bit this seems to me to be another Brandon McCarthy type signing.

      Like you I don’t want Realmuto either if it costs us Ruiz. But if we unloaded Ruiz and a couple of our top prospects for someone like Bumgarner, I’d go for it. The Red Sox did well to get Sale even though most people thought it was a high cost, remember?

  9. Gonna’ need a ramp, to replace the dugout steps. Also a few rocking chairs, to replace a portion of the dugout bench. Maybe a Dugout Assistant “Caregiver” to help them back and forth to the clubhouse latrine? Do they make Depends, with cup pockets?

    Dodgers love burned out veterans, and ship out , or hold back their prospects.

  10. Yueh-Fei, like you, I too will be glad to eat crow.

    IMO, Pollock will also fall victim to the “Platoon” and his production will suffer as a result.

    Also, the inactivity he spends on the bench will also make him more vulnerable to injury when he does play. His age, and previous injury history add to his vulnerabilities.

    I do not think today’s ballplayers work out enough at baseball skills to remain game ready, and they end up overcompensating. They lose timing due to lack of repetition. They spend too much time in the weight room then on the field working on fundamentals. Matt Kemp , Pederson, and Puig both are prime examples of this. Offense also suffers. Hitting in game situations vs. batting cage pitchng machines and 70MPH batting practice tossers are entirely different.

    Ruiz for Realmuto? Like trading in a new car for a used one. Give the kid a chance, instead of letting him waste away in the Farm. Realmuto is too expensive.

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