AJ Pollock declines option with White Sox

LAS VEGAS — AJ Pollock declined his $13 million player option to return to the White Sox in 2023, a source confirmed Tuesday, making the outfielder a free agent.

Pollock will receive a $5 million buyout.

The Sox acquired Pollock from the Dodgers at the end of spring training in exchange for reliever Craig Kimbrel. He batted .245/.292/.389 with 14 homers in 138 games while posting a .935 OPS against lefthanders and was a 0.4 wins above replacement player, per Baseball Reference. Pollock, 35, achieved his 10th year of service time. He has earned $69.5 million during his career with the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Sox.

Outfielders on the Sox’ 40-man roster include Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets, Adam Engel and Mark Payton.

Pollock was generally expected to exercise his option. He played three outfield positions and was one of the better fielders among a defensively weak outfield in 2022, however, and outfield defense is an area the Sox should address this offseason. Having Pollock’s salary off the books should create flexibility to address that need, if not others.

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