Seattle Mariners, AJ Pollock agree on 1-year, $7 million deal

Outfielder AJ Pollock and the Seattle Mariners are in agreement on a one-year, $7 million contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN, adding a batter who crushes left-handed pitchers to a lineup that had previously been improved this winter through trades.

The deal, which is pending a physical, would bring Pollock, 35, to Seattle to join outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and second baseman Kolten Wong on a Mariners team that made the postseason for the first time in two decades last season.

While the Mariners' pitching remains a strength, adding offense to a lineup that returns American League Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez, Ty France, Eugenio Suarez and Cal Raleigh was paramount. How much Pollock plays in an outfield that already includes Hernandez, Jarred Kelenic, Taylor Trammell, Dylan Moore and Sam Haggerty potentially in corner spots could depend on the throwing arm of the starter.

While Pollock hit .245/.292/.389 last season with the Chicago White Sox, he hit 11 home runs and slugged .619 in 126 at-bats against left-handed pitchers. Over his 12-year career, Pollock's right-handed swing has vexed left-handed pitchers, posting an OPS nearly 100 points higher than against right-handers.

The Mariners earlier in the day traded for right-handed reliever Justin Topa, who joins a bullpen that was vital in the team's ascent to the wild card last year. Seattle hopes its offensive gains in Hernandez, Wong and Pollock are enough to complement its starting rotation, which is one of the best in baseball, and bullpen, which had the sixth-best ERA in baseball in 2022.