The Braves and Diamondbacks have recently discussed potential trades involving starter Shelby Miller, but the Braves have been focused on outfielder A.J. Pollock. D-Backs CEO Derrick Hall says that teams inquire on Pollock’s availability “every time”. Hall thinks “it’s almost time to send a message that A.J. is off limits,” as Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. “I think it’s safe to categorize him as almost untouchable,” Hall said.
Pollock had an outstanding 2015 season, batting .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 39 stolen bases while playing above-average defense in the outfield. His 7.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, ranked 10th in baseball. FanGraphs put him at 6.6 WAR, the eighth-highest mark among qualified position players.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about Pollock, however, is his contract status. He is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season. Rather than trade Pollock, the Diamondbacks might instead pursue a contract extension.