CHICAGO – It was thought that the player whom the White Sox acquired in the Craig Kimbrel with the Dodgers before the 2022 season would be back for another year.
But AJ Pollock had a surprise in store for the team and some around baseball on Tuesday.
The outfielder is declining his $13 million player option with the club and instead will receive a $5 million buyout. This gives Pollock the chance to choose his next team for the upcoming season.
Rick Hahn confirmed the news when speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the general manager meetings in Las Vegas.
The 11-year veteran ended up spending just one season in Chicago after he was acquired from Los Angeles in the deal just before the start of the 2022 season. In an injury-riddled outfield, Pollock saw time at all three spots but appeared mostly in left field, starting in 77 games in that position.
He also had 35 starts in center field and 17 out in right last season.
Pollock hit .245/.292/.389 with 26 doubles, one triple, and 14 homers with 56 RBI in 138 games for the White Sox in 2022. He did struggle a lot against right-handed pitching as he hit just .231 in 363 plate appearances.
As the White Sox enter the offseason, they’re still looking for a fulltime right fielder, a position that has remained without a consistent starter in this current era. Pollock, Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn, Leury Garcia, and Adam Engel were among those who played that spot this season.
Along with finding a right field, the White Sox are also still in search of a consistent starter at second base this offseason as well.
This was one of two major stories when it came to free agents in Chicago sports on Tuesday as Willson Contreras declined his qualifying offer from the Cubs, making him a free agent this offseason.