Mike Piazza, Luis Gonzalez to manage Futures Game teams

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Mike Piazza will take the helm for the U.S. club and Luis Gonzalez will manage the World team in the 13th annual Futures Game to be played Sunday, July 10.

As usual, MLB has gone with ambassadors, rather than minor league managers, to serve as the managers for the Futures Game.  The staffs for each team will be made up of minor league personnel, including former players Brett Butler, Sal Fasano, Steve Buchele and Brian Harper.

The Futures Game rosters were announced last week and can be found here.  MLB did announce one change Friday, saying former No. 1 overall draft pick Tim Beckham (Rays) would take the spot of Chase d’Arnaud on the U.S. team.  D’Arnaud was called up by the Pirates last week.

A.J. Pollock may be the Dodgers’ next free agent target

A.J. Pollock
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Free agent outfielder A.J. Pollock has landed on the Dodgers’ radar, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal says the two appear to be in discussions regarding a deal for 2019. Terms of any prospective deal have not been released, but interest is presumed to be fairly high as he checks two boxes on their wish list: that of a right-handed hitter and an experienced centerfielder.

Pollock, 31, rounded out a seven-year career with the Diamondbacks in 2018. While he was sidelined for nearly seven weeks after fracturing his left thumb on a dive gone wrong, he finished the season batting a hearty .257/.316/.484 with a career-best 21 home runs, 13 steals (in 15 chances), and 2.5 fWAR across 460 plate appearances. He received a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the club at the end of the year and elected to enter free agency in hopes of a better deal, which some have estimated at five years and $80 million.

So far, it’s not clear whether teams are willing to meet those terms. Pollock profiles as both a solid hitter and defender, but he hasn’t played a season in full health since 2015, which may be a deal-breaker for those in search of long-term talent. Even with that caveat, however, the Dodgers are far from the only club willing to enter negotiations with the outfielder this winter. The Braves have been linked to Pollock since December, and the Mets and Reds have expressed varying levels of interest as well.