Orioles rookie Kevin Gausman looks ready for his close-up

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Kevin Gausman is a really good prospect who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft and has dominated in the minors, but he struggled in his first couple stints with the Orioles while posting a 6.10 ERA through 52 career innings.

He got another call-up last week thanks to Miguel Gonzalez’s injury and now it looks like Gausman might be ready to stick in the majors for good.

Last night he tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays and in his previous start he threw seven innings of one-run ball versus the A’s. Two very strong performances against two first-place teams and, while his career ERA is still ugly, Gausman now has a sparking 60/19 K/BB ratio in 65 total innings at age 23 while averaging 95.7 miles per hour with his fastball.

Assuming he stays in the majors Gausman will face the Rays, in Tampa Bay, next Tuesday.

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.