Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers addressed their void at closer by trading AJ Pollock to the Chicago White Sox for eight-time All-Star Craig Kimbrel.
Kimbrel takes over for Kenley Jansen, who signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves. Jansen holds the Dodgers franchise record with 350 career saves, but Kimbrel is the only active player with more than that at 372.
While a significant question mark in the Dodgers bullpen was addressed, it cost the team a productive everyday player in Pollock.
Manager Dave Roberts acknowledged trading Pollock was significant, but he ultimately feels the Dodgers and White Sox are both in a better position after the deal, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:
Dave Roberts: “It’s a big loss as far as AJ. He’s a guy that really played really well for us. He was loved in the clubhouse…But it’s going to be a great opportunity for him. I guess if there’s ever a win-win situation for both clubs and both players, I think this is it.”
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) April 2, 2022
In January 2019, the Dodgers signed Pollock to a four-year, $55 million contract that included a player option for 2023. Pollock’s deal also had an opt-out clause after the 2021 season, but he fell 11 plate appearances short of being able to exercise it.
Over three seasons with the Dodgers, Pollock hit .282/.337/.519 with 51 doubles, 52 home runs and 150 RBI over 258 games. He was a 2021 Gold Glove Award finalist in left field, which was won by Tyler O’Neill of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pollock’s player option for the 2023 season is $10 million but can increase to $15 million if he logs the requisite number of plate appearances this year. His deal includes a $5 million buyout as well.
Barnes, Turner share messages for Pollock
After the Dodgers traded Pollock to the White Sox, Austin Barnes and Justin Turner wished him well in separate posts on social media.
The 34-year-old was regularly praised by former teammates for being a positive presence in the clubhouse.
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