Geoff Blum takes broadcasting job with Astros

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Veteran infielder Geoff Blum hasn’t formally retired from baseball, but that’s probably coming soon. Here’s MLB.com beat writer Brian McTaggart:

Geoff Blum, who played five years with the Astros in two separate stints with the club, has reached an agreement to join the club’s television broadcast team, a source has told MLB.com.

Blum is expected to be behind the microphone for about 60 games a year this year, filling the role of color analyst when Bill Brown isn’t in the booth.

Blum appeared in only 17 games — and started just five — with the Diamondbacks last season because of a serious left oblique injury.

And he hit .143 with a .336 OPS when he wasn’t on the disabled list.

The California native tallied 990 hits, 99 home runs and 479 RBI over the course of his 14-year major league career. He has big shoes to fill in Houston, where he’ll play a part in replacing fan favorite Jim Deshaies, who took a job in the Cubs’ television broadcast booth earlier this offseason. Blum is 39 years old.

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.