David Ortiz arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday

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According to WEEI.com’s Alex Speier, an arbitration hearing for the Red Sox and designated hitter David Ortiz has been scheduled for Monday.

Ortiz requested a salary of $16.5 million and was offered $12.65 million by the Boston front office when arbitration numbers were exchanged in mid-January.

The two sides have not been able to find a middle ground over the past three weeks, and only have a handful of days left to do so before independent arbitrators are asked to pick one of the two figures.

Ortiz, 36, batted .309/.398/.554 with 29 homers and 96 RBI in 605 plate appearances last season. He could have chosen free agency this winter, but instead opted to accept the Red Sox’ offer of salary arbitration.

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.