Another top outfielder has found a new home, as reports indicate former Arizona Diamondback A.J. Pollock will go to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a five-year deal worth around $55. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the deal on Twitter:
#Dodgers in agreement with free-agent outfielder A.J. Pollock, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic. Terms of deal not known.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2019
A.J. Pollock’s 2018
Pollock had a productive 2018, slashing .257/.316/.484 with 21 home runs and 13 steals. His .228 ISO ranked third among CF (18th for OF overall), and he set a new career high for home runs. He struggled after the All-Star Break (.233/.290/.410), muting his final numbers after a strong first half (.285/.348/.575). Health was also an issue for Pollock, as he missed more than 40 games for the third straight season, this time due to a broken thumb.
Defensively, Pollock was mostly above average, though DRS and UZR differed on his performance. Per DRS, Pollock was one of only six CF’s to register a positive rating (6 DRS) in 2018. UZR, on the other hand, gave Pollock a slightly negative mark (-0.7 UZR) that left him 12th for CF in that metric. His rARM rating plummeted, rating -6 rARM, a substantial decrease over the -1 rARM mark he posted in 2017.
Analysis of the Signing
In Pollock, the Dodgers add a veteran center fielder with a history of above-average offensive and defensive production, when healthy. While Pollock has proven that he can be a special part of any lineup, his age (31) and recent inability to stay healthy (249 games missed from 2016 – 2018) make this deal a risky endeavor for the Dodgers.
If he can stay on the field, Pollock should provide a good offensive mix for the Dodgers, and could be a candidate to offer more power moving forward if he maintains some of the adjustments he showed last season (+6.3% FB%, +5.4% Pull%, +9.5% Hard%, +4.4% Barrel%).