Sign A.J. Pollock to a long-term deal. Now. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
I know I wrote about this very subject roughly three months ago. Given what we have seen in that time in terms of contracts given out both to free agents and for those players re-upping for longer terms with their current teams, the move makes perfect sense. In fact, there is no better time than the present to get it done.
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The Arizona Diamondbacks need to sign A.J. Pollock to a long-term contract, preferably for six years. Why six? It would lock him up through his arbitration-eligible seasons which are notorious for drastic salary hikes as well as his first two years of free agency. From the team’s perspective, it keeps a prospective core of Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt and Yasmany Tomas in D’backs’ uniforms for six seasons at relatively club-friendly prices. For Pollock, who is 26, it would offer security until the age of 32 where he can still expect one more pretty good payday, assuming he plays like he did in 2014.
From Arizona’s perspective, the longer they wait to look up a potential premier center fielder, the more cost-prohibitive it becomes for them. It’s not just the mammoth contract signed by Giancarlo Stanton last month. It is a deal like the recent one inked by Kyle Seager that should push management into striking a deal with Pollock. Seager is a really good third baseman whose average annual salary will now be pushing $20 million starting in 2018. That’s not to say that Pollock is in Seager’s class yet but it illustrates how far teams are willing to extend themselves to keep their home-grown stars.
I would like to think that Dave Stewart and company believes that Pollock is on the cusp of being a big-time outfielder. Therefore, it is imperative a long-term agreement can be reached before this time next season. That’s when the price will really start to deliver a hit to the D’back wallet.