Just after Adam Engel signed a contract with the Padres, another former White Sox outfielder is off the market.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Mariners have agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with AJ Pollock. The move will become official once Pollock passes his physical.
Many viewed Pollock’s decision to hit free agency as rather surprising given his underwhelming season on the South Side. The 35-year-old slashed .245/.292/.389 (120-for-489) with 14 home runs, 56 RBI, 92 wRC+, 0.5 fWAR. Like the rest of the team, the veteran outfielder dealt with a couple of injuries but nothing significant enough that can be attributed to his down year.
Heading into the 2023 season, Pollock had a $10 million player option with the White Sox that included a $5 million buyout. This past year, his deal had $1 million escalators for a given number of plate appearances, and based on Pollock’s 489 plate appearances, he earned an additional $3 million to bring his 2023 contract to $13 million. However, Pollock opted to exercise his $5 million buyout and look to play elsewhere. The new $7 million contract with Seattle along with the $5 million he’ll receive from the White Sox brings his 2023 total to $12 million, a loss of $1 million to play for a new team.
Had Pollock returned, he likely would’ve served as a platoon partner who can hit against left-handed pitchers and play corner outfield positions when the situation allows. Since his departure, the White Sox have bolstered their outfield by signing Andrew Benintendi to the largest deal in franchise history, seemingly locking up left field for the next five years. Prospect Oscar Colas also appears slated to become the starting right fielder barring any additional moves.
Aside from those two names, the White Sox have completed a trio of minor-league deals for Victor Reyes, Billy Hamilton, and Jake Marisnick. The additions, centered around depth, will give the team flexibility in deciding who will serve in the roles likely carried out by Pollock and Engel. Though none of the new signees offer a better offensive solution, Hamilton and Marisnick will continue to provide value defensively and on the basepaths.
One more deal for a player such as Adam Duvall or Robbie Grossman could be beneficial to provide a more offensively-proven depth option. Though no rumors have surfaced just yet regarding additional moves, we will continue to provide White Sox coverage on all platforms. Follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for more!
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