Seattle Mariners Get Their Lefty-Masher For LF

The Seattle Mariners were determined to add a right-handed hitting left fielder, and they've done so, adding a bat that had a .935 OPS against lefties last season. 

11-year veteran AJ Pollock joins the M's, where he'll man left field, likely in a platoon with Jarred Kelenic, according to Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish. He'll also get at-bats as the DH. 

It's a one-year, $7M deal that also includes $3 million in performance bonuses. Those will likely mostly include games-played incentives, as the biggest knock against Pollock is his inability to stay healthy for a full season.

Last year's 138 games was the 35-year-old's most played in eight years, since his All-Star 2015 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He finished with a down season, however, hitting just .245 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs and a career-low .681 OPS. 

Given those struggles, it was somewhat shocking when Pollock decided against picking up a $13M option with the Chicago White Sox after last season, and instead settled for the $5M buyout, and now signs a $7M contract. His gamble didn't pay off as he ends up $1M short from what he turned down.

He has a career .276 average and .801 OPS but against lefties that bumps up to .285 and .868.

“We face a lot of lefties, particularly in our division,” said Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners’ president of baseball operations. “We don’t want to just feed (their young hitters) to the lefties without some type of safety net."

Now they have it.  

Photo: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports