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Dodgers old friend catch-up: A.J. Pollock, Matt Beaty & more

Pollock & Beaty, who once combined for 15 RBI in a game with LA, have new homes for 2023

Los Angeles Dodgers v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The last week or so has included several tidbits of baseball news on several ex-Dodgers, headlined by a pair of players who struggled in 2022 after getting traded by Los Angeles in spring training.

A.J. Pollock agreed to a reported one-year, $7-million deal with the Mariners. That deal is pending a physical, with those three words taking on added importance this offseason.

After three above average offensive seasons with the Dodgers — including a 130 wRC+ in 2020 and 137 wRC_ in 2021 — Pollock was traded to the White Sox for closer Craig Kimbrel last April, just one week before the regular season. Both players had down years for their new teams, with Pollock hitting just .245/.292/.389 with a 92 wRC+, his lowest mark in six years. Even in a subpar season, Pollock destroyed left-handed pitching to the tune of a 161 wRC+, hitting 11 of his 14 home runs against southpaws in only one third of the plate appearances he has against righties.

Pollock declined his $13-million player option in November, instead earning a $5-million buyout, which means with his new deal he’ll be paid $1 million less in total than had he stayed with the White Sox. Either that was a misread of his free agent market or he simply wanted out of a disappointing situation in Chicago, or maybe it was a little bit of both.

Four days before the Pollock trade, the Dodgers traded Matt Beaty to the Padres for minor league pitcher River Ryan. Beaty signed a minor league contract with the Royals on Tuesday that includes a non-roster invitation to spring training.

The designated hitter all but killed pinch-hitting for the Dodgers, and that was one of Beaty’s biggest roles in 2019 and 2021. He struggled mightily in limited duty with the Padres last season, with just four hits in 47 at-bats, plus an underwhelming .270/.366/.349 with an 89 wRC+ with Triple-A El Paso.

Beaty also missed more than five weeks with a left shoulder impingement during midseason, one that necessitated a stint on the 60-day injured list. Beaty, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round in 2015, turns 30 in April.

Kyle Garlick was designated for assignment by the Twins on Wednesday when they signed Carlos Correa, ending the 29-day, three-team free agent saga for the shortstop. Garlick is currently in roster limbo, with Minnesota having a week to try to trade Garlick or place him on waivers.

Garlick was one of several Dodgers rookies to contribute in 2019, and has continued to find a niche role as a lefty-mashing corner outfielder for three teams in sporadic duty over the last four years. Garlick in his career is a .251/.301/.538 hitter with a 126 wRC+ against lefties, including .243/.305/.500 with a 128 wRC+ versus southpaws in 2022.

Having used options in both 2019 and 2020, Garlick — who turns 31 on January 26 — still has an option year remaining.

Among other old friends, a few other moves: