TODAY: Pollock will receive annual salaries of $3.5MM and $6.75MM, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
YESTERDAY: The Diamondbacks have struck a two-year deal to avoid arbitration with outfielder A.J. Pollock, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports on Twitter. He’ll receive $10.25MM in the contract, Buster Olney of ESPN adds (Twitter link).
Pollock filed at $3.9MM, with the team countering at $3.65MM — both of which fell below his $4.3MM projection — so there wasn’t much room for movement on his 2016 salary. But Arizona may have saved a bit of cash on next year’s bill in order to help ease a settlement on this season’s payday.
And for Pollock, he won’t have to worry about injury or a performance decline sapping his earning power for 2017. Certainly, the new deal builds in a substantial raise for the burgeoning star. He’ll be promised a $3.25MM bump for the added season covered in the pact.
As a 3+ service-time player, Pollock will still have one year of arb eligibility remaining after his new deal is up. A longer-term arrangement still seems plausible for the 28-year-old, who cemented himself as the D-Backs’ center fielder with an excellent 2015 campaign. If nothing else, the major raise baked into the deal suggests that the team doesn’t expect him to fall off in the coming year.
Pollock’s signing puts a cap on a banner evening for two-year, arb-only extensions for prominent players. Josh Donaldson reportedly struck his own such arrangement with the Blue Jays, while J.D. Martinez did the same with the Tigers. In some cases, that can suggest that the sides were unable to work out something larger and settled for agreeing to terms on salaries on years already controlled. Of course, Pollock is younger than Donaldson and further from free agency than Martinez, so he remains a fairly plausible candidate to sell some free agent seasons to his current club.
Pollock turned heads in an injury-shortened 2014 in which he emerged as a premium player both at the plate and in the field. But many were waiting to see if he could repeat in a full season of action, and he delivered.
All told, Pollock contributed a .315/.367/.498 slash with 20 home runs and 39 steals over his 673 plate appearances in 2015. And he rated as one of the game’s most productive center fielders, too, significantly adding to his value. By any measure, he was one of the game’s best all-around players, and his 7.4 rWAR and 6.6 fWAR attest.
The move continues a busy offseason for Arizona, which recently added reliever Tyler Clippard to a pitching staff that was already set to gain starters Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. While this latest contract won’t impact the organization’s roster for the coming season, or any future campaigns, it does represent another significant commitment.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
One of the most underrated players in baseball. Guy played like a super star last year and hardly anyone noticed.
Him and Goldy leading the way with both entering their primes will be fun to watch. So glad we now have a rotation and some bullpen depth.
People need to stop saying that about Pollock. Several teams attempted to wrestle him away from the D-Backs. His talent is well recognized in baseball.
Yeah, when every person is talking about how you’re underrated and no one noticed you, I think that means you’ve been noticed.
I still think he’s slightly underrated. Now, people seem to think “he’s underrated, he’s actually really good,” but his play the last two years has been pretty close to McCutchen, and I’m not sure most people would view him at that level still (his 2014 was cut short by a broken hand on a HBP, but he was on his way to a breakout season then).
I guess I don’t really have a beat on the general public’s perception of Pollock. But I he is certainly not underrated in the people I generally talk baseball with.
My point was more about the casual fan’s perception of him. Not sure he’s in the conversation for most casual fans of star players, but I agree, the claim that no one noticed is an exaggeration.
“He’ll receive $10.25MM in the contract,”
“He’ll be promised nearly a $6.5MM raise — assuming the filing numbers’ midpoint as a baseline for 2016 — for the added season covered in the pact.”
The midpoint of the numbers he and the team filed ($3.65m and $3.9m) is $3.775m. A raise of $6.5m would give him $10.275m in the second year. Which would give him $14.05m over the two years, which isn’t $10.25m.
Did I miss something, or is it written wrong. He certainly didn’t
Was saying he certainly didn’t “avoid arbitration” with the second year figure alone; you either avoid arbitration with a one-year agreement or a multiyear agreement, not with the latter year/years of a multiyear agreement.
Yeah I think Jeff just messed up the math a little bit, but he’s putting out the article at midnight, so no big deal. But unless we both read it wrong, I think it’s just written wrong.
Math is hard, especially late at night on your third two-year extension post of the evening. Thanks for understanding!
I’m pretty sure the total is $10.25M and the raise on the second year is $2.7M, not the nearly $6.5M raise referenced in the article. There is little reason for a team to guarantee a raise on a second year that is essentially the equivalent of the player winning the MVP award.
I made the same mistake yesterday when looking at Donaldson. What you’re looking at is something like $3.5 million in 2016 and $6.75 million in 2017, which is a pretty fair deal for both sides. Might be a little light for Pollock, but that’s the cost of getting it guaranteed.
The only losers here are the MLBPA since arbitration salaries across the board rise when top players get 1 year deals.
“Something like” … exactly what it is. Well done!
No, you’re right. I just goofed on that. Fixed now.