Baltimore trimmed reliever Clay Rapada from the 40-man roster this morning to make room for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, so the 30-year-old left-hander is now looking for work via Twitter:
Rapada correctly notes that left-handed hitters were just 6-for-67 off him during the past two seasons, which is a remarkable .089 batting average. He smartly opted not to mention that right-handed hitters went 14-for-26 (.538) with four homers off him over that same span.
He’s a solid left-handed specialist, but Rapada will probably clear waivers and have to settle for a minor-league deal.
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.