A.J. Pollock open to the idea of signing an extension with the Diamondbacks

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that outfielder A.J. Pollock would be willing to listen if the Diamondbacks approached him about signing a contract extension. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported on Friday that GM Dave Stewart considers Pollock “a big, big piece of what we’re trying to do.”

Pollock, 27, has put up terrific numbers while manning center field for the Diamondbacks this season. He’s hitting .312/.365/.474 with 12 home runs, 50 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 28 stolen bases while playing above-average defense in the outfield.

Pollock is earning $519,500 this season and will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season. He’ll be due a significant pay raise. The Diamondbacks are likely hoping a contract extension gives them a discount over what they would be expected to pay Pollock over three years of arbitration eligibility, and they may try to cover at least one potential post-free agency season as well, which would start in 2019.

Heyman also reported on Friday that Stewart wants to make first baseman Paul Goldschmidt “a lifetime Diamondback”, so they may be working on more than one contract extension.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.