Is Jose Bautista asking for ump trouble?

33 Comments

This story in the National Post about Jose Bautista arguing with umpires over the strike zone is interesting. Here’s a quote he gave Tuesday night after feeling like he got screwed on a couple ball/strike calls:

“Sometimes I have trouble more than other players dealing with my production being affected by somebody else’s mediocrity,” he said. “It’s just the way I am as a person. It’s a tougher pill to swallow for me sometimes.”

Buster Olney, in linking this story on Twitter this morning, had this to say:

 

We all know umpiring can be … erratic. But sometimes there’s a price to be paid for being correct in your criticism of authority, especially if it’s couched in the kind of “we all know those guys are awful” way Bautista couched it.  Even if the evidence points out that Bautista is being unequivocally boned at the plate, I’m not sure what he accomplishes by calling out the men in blue like this.

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

A.J. Pollock
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.