Dodgers Signing Outfielder A.J. Pollock (UPDATE: 4/$55M, But Complicated)

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Dodgers Signing Outfielder A.J. Pollock (UPDATE: 4/$55M, But Complicated)

Chicago Cubs

For reasons known only to their front office and perhaps their investors, the HUGE REVENUE Los Angeles Dodgers aggressively sought to get under the luxury tax last year so that the could … work very hard to stay under it again this year.

So, rather than make a serious play for Bryce Harper, who hails from near-ish-by-ish Las Vegas, and is a 26-year-old stud, the Dodgers have instead opted to make landing a right-handed bat a priority. It’s 31-year-old A.J. Pollock for them:

Pollock, when healthy, is a solid hitter and defender, though I suppose we should probably set aside the memory of him as a one-time superstar in 2015. Since then, he’s hit just .261/.323/.473 (105 wRC), and has managed just 237 games played in three seasons.

My guess is he’s going to get a more modest deal that pundits projected a few months ago, thanks to the combined forces of the offseason freeze, his age, his injuries, his so-so performance the last few years, and the draft pick compensation he costs.

As for the implications here, the Dodgers have reportedly been looking to move outfielder Joc Pederson in tandem with a signing like this, so we’ll see if that goes down. If not, and even after the trade of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, the Dodgers will still be overloaded with positional options. The must really like Pollock.

Bryce Harper, meanwhile, will probably not be able to work the Dodgers into the bidding that is now limited to the Phillies, the White Sox, the Nationals, and then any big surprise entrant. I suppose it’s not impossible that the Dodgers could add Harper even after Pollock, but absent a series of other moves, it’s just not especially likely.

UPDATE: The terms on Pollack’s deal, perhaps unsurprisingly given the winter and the nature of Dodgers contracts, is complicated:

So by tacking on the player option with a huge buyout, the Dodgers get to say this is a five-year, $60M deal for luxury tax purposes. I guess you can just tack on player options like that now to lower the AAV of deals and MLB will permit it …

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.