Cubs and Dodgers talking Matt Garza-for-Zach Lee swap

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Last week reports had the Dodgers talking to the Cubs about starting pitching while being more interested in Matt Garza than Ryan Dempster.

Now that Dempster has been traded to the Braves, this report from Jim Bowden of ESPN.com makes sense: He says the Cubs and Dodgers “continue trade discussions” on a deal that would swap Garza for a “package including Zach Lee.”

Lee was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2010 and posted excellent strikeout and strikeout-to-walk numbers in the low minors, but has struggled since a midseason promotion to Double-A. Of course, he’s 20 years old and has all of 184 pro innings under his belt, so that’s no big deal.

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.