Report: Mariners sign veteran OF AJ Pollock to 1-year deal
The Mariners have said this offseason that the goal was to add a right-handed-hitting outfielder with some thump. They’ve apparently done just that as ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports Seattle has signed veteran outfielder AJ Pollock to a one-year contract worth $7 million.
Pollock, 35, is an 11-year veteran who made his MLB debut in 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He made the 2015 All-Star Game while with Arizona and then spent the 2019-21 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pollock was with the Chicago White Sox in 2022.
In his career, Pollock has a .276/.332/.469 (.801 OPS) slash line and 140 home runs in 1,033 career games.
Pollock posted an OPS of .795 or higher each season from 2017-21, but had an overall poor year in 2022 with the White Sox. In 138 games with Chicago, Pollock slashed .245/.292/.389 (.681 OPS) with 14 home runs and 56 RBI.
What Pollock did do well last season, however, is hit left-handed pitching.
Pollock had a .935 OPS and 11 home runs in 133 plate appearances off southpaws in 2022 compared to a .593 OPS in 394 plate appearances against right-handed pitching. Pollock has a career OPS of .868 against lefties and .772 against right-handers.
A 2-run blast from AJ Pollock! pic.twitter.com/RJMVVKQoBn
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 1, 2022
Hitting lefites is important to note with Pollock as the Mariners have a number of young left-handed hitting outfielders such as Jarred Kelenic and Taylor Trammell who are expected to compete for playing time early next season. Pollock could be the right-handed half of a platoon situation in left field, but outside of last season, he’s also shown he can more than hold his own against right-handed pitching.
Defensively, Pollock has spent most of his career in center field, but he’s played mostly in left field over the last three seasons.
If the Pollock deal does indeed get finalized, he would be the second free agent the Mariners have signed to an MLB contract this offseason along with reliever Trevor Gott. Pollock would be the fourth hitter Seattle has acquired as the M’s traded for two-time Silver Slugger outfielder Teoscar Hernández, two-time Gold Glove second baseman Kolten Wong and catcher/outfielder Cooper Hummel.