In an off-season with both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, you could see the writing on the wall for A.J Pollock. He’d have to wait his turn to cash out in Free Agency. Things went that way for a long while, with the aforementioned twosome occupying much of the rumor mill, until A.J finally accepted an offer from the Dodgers Thursday morning.
The final details are still under wraps, but it looks like A.J will end up with over $50 million according to a couple reports. That detail is important to Diamondback fans and front office members, as they had offered him the qualifying offer, which he ultimately rejected. That gives the D-backs a compensation pick at the end of the 1st round of the upcoming draft while also robbing the Dodgers of their second highest pick in the same draft and $500,000 in international signing bonus money.
A.J was selected by the D-backs in the 1st round (17th) of the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of Notre Dame. He rushed his way through the Minor Leagues and made his first MLB appearance in April of 2012, replacing Chris B. Young on the roster after he injured his shoulder. Pollock struggled in his first cup of coffee, going 11 for 48 in his debut month and returned to Reno after Young healed up.
Pollock finally stuck to the roster in 2013 and never relinquished his role as the starting centerfielder. He suffered a broken hand in the midst of a breakout 2014, after Johnny Cueto hit him in that hand and ended his season.
A.J returned healthy in 2015 and showed the team why they selected him as a first-round pick, earning his first All-Star appearance and Golden Glove, as well as a smattering of MVP votes after a season which saw him hit 20 homers with a .315/.367/.498 line. Unfortunately a broken arm sidelined Pollock the next season, a repeat injury of the same arm he broke in 2010.
Pollock never returned to that MVP form we saw but he was still a very good player on some very good D-backs teams. He still showed excellent defensive ability in CF and was an asset at the plate, hitting just around league average. Various injuries have caused him to miss over 300 games in his short career as a D-back, and with Pollock now over 31 years of age, it should be expected for him to play less games in a Dodger uniform in order to compensate. A.J. Pollock ends his D-backs career with a .281/.338/.467 batting line, good for a wRC+ of 112 and 20.0 fWAR over his 7 seasons.
We wish him continued success and luck as he continues his MLB career (unless he’s playing the D-backs!).