Dodgers add the free-agent outfielder of their choice — A.J. Pollock

first_img“I think a big focus for us this offseason was ‘How do you achieve more consistency?’ … We think A.J. fits in really well with that, not just in 2019 but as we look ahead.”Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated there will be fewer of the “line change” platoon lineups with the addition of Pollock as an “every-day” presence in the lineup.“I don’t think you go out and sign a player like that to even bring in the word ‘platoon,’” Roberts said. “I think he’s going to play, he’s going to play every day. But the idea of giving him days off, getting ahead of things with the rigors of a long season — I think that’s something that I’m going to have a conversation with him.” PreviousLos Angeles Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly speaks to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, center, with president Andrew Friedman, left, and manager Dave Roberts holds up his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, and Corey Seager during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsFormer Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela signs autographs during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Angel Rodriguez shows off his art work on his head during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly speaks to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Fans pose for pictures on home plate during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)A Justin Turner fan wearing a red beard waits for him to make an appearance during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)A small Dodger dog during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen shakes hands with fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, right, with president Andrew Friedman, left, tries on his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, left, speak with president Stan Kasten during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman during a press conference for AJ Pollack during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, second from right, along with Jaime Jarrin, right, speak to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen speaks to the media during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela signs autographs during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Two year old Sophia Sanchez of Los Angeles high fives the Dodger mascot during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen shakes hands with fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Fans pose with the Dodger mascot during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda speaks to the media during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Fans pose with the Dodger mascot during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jensen during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly speaks to fans during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, center, with president Andrew Friedman, left, and manager Dave Roberts holds up his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 24New Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollack, center, with president Andrew Friedman, left, and manager Dave Roberts holds up his new jersey during a press conference during Dodger Stadium Fanfest at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — A.J. Pollock donned a Dodgers cap and jersey for the first time Saturday, posing for photos as his signing with the team became official.And he also confirmed what many had suspected — he is not Bryce Harper.“Honestly I’m just concentrating on being the best version of myself I can,” Pollock said when asked about the unsigned free-agent outfielder aspirationally linked to the Dodgers all winter, a more expensive purchase the team has declined to make.“He’s a great player. That’s not a question for me. I’m just going to come in here and just do my part to help this team win a ton of ballgames.” Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Pollock has had a difficult time staying in the lineup over the past five seasons. He has played more than 113 games just once in that time due to a series of injuries.“I feel like most of my injuries — a lot of them were impact injuries, kind of freak stuff,” Pollock said. “I feel like I do a really good job of keeping my body in shape. I just have to keep trusting the process. I know some things haven’t gone my way as far as injuries, but absolutely, a lot of my injuries weren’t really overuse, just some freak stuff. I’m not even thinking about injuries. I’m ready to go.”Friedman said the Dodgers analyzed Pollock’s injuries — a broken thumb in 2018 while diving for a fly ball, a groin injury in 2017, a fractured elbow in 2016 on a diving slide at home plate and a broken hand in 2014 when hit by a pitch — and came to the same conclusion as Pollock.“Obviously he’s missed some time over the last few years and as we dug into it the question is ‘Is it predictive as you look forward?’” Friedman said. “As he said, most of them have been impact-type injuries. He’s had one soft-tissue injury. Then you get into how well a guy takes care of himself. How clean does he live, eat, and those things that factor into player health.“As we dug into it we felt good that he does everything he possibly can to stay on the field.”Pollock said as his free-agent winter played out he told his agent to do everything he could to keep the Dodgers in play.“I’m not going to lie, we were looking at the Dodgers the whole time and just thinking ‘That’s just a great fit. We love the team. We know them really well and there are a lot of familiar faces,’” Pollock said. “Honestly, when things got close, I talked to my agent over here, Brian Peters, and just said ‘Don’t lose the Dodgers I want to play there.’ And it worked out.”It worked out with a contract that includes plate-appearances markers that could allow Pollock to opt out after his third season or give him a player option that could extend the deal for five years and $60 million. It was a creative approach that allowed the Dodgers to keep their projected 2019 payroll under the competitive-balance tax threshold for a second consecutive season — something that Friedman called “beneficial” but not necessarily a primary aim.“I think right now we’re solving for being the best team we can be, both short term and long term and trying to balance that with the players we have right now with how the landscape looks going forward,” he said, saying he was “not sure” if the Dodgers would stay under the tax threshold as the rest of the offseason plays out.“Obviously we’ve got a very mature, full payroll. Next year we have a lot more flexibility in that respect. I think it’s always balancing that and not putting yourself in position where you potentially fall off a cliff. I think that’s one thing we’ve done pretty well — maintain a high level. And that’s something that’s easier said than done. There’s a lot of history in the last 10 years of some large revenue teams taking big dips down and trying to build back up. We’re trying to do everything we can do to avoid that.”center_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The Dodgers expect his part to involve anchoring an outfield that can be “elite” defensively and making their lineup less vulnerable to left-handed pitching than it often was over the past three seasons.“As we looked ahead to 2019 and beyond, we’ve got a number of left-handed hitters that are under control for a while and have some left-handed hitters coming,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Saturday. “We didn’t have as much from the right side and as we looked at 2019 specifically, we felt we were going to be a very dynamic offensive team against right-handed pitching. Against left-handed pitching we weren’t going to be quite as good.Related Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco last_img read more