Pollock, D-backs 'not far apart' in arbitration talks

Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder only eligible player without one-year deal

January 18th, 2016

PHOENIX -- Outfielder A.J. Pollock is the lone D-backs player eligible for salary arbitration who has not reached an agreement on a one-year deal, but it sounds like an agreement is definitely possible prior to a February hearing.

Pollock filed for arbitration Friday at $3.9 million, while the team countered at $3.65 million.

"We're not far apart," Arizona general manager Dave Stewart said. "We're willing, if they're willing, to get to a ground where this thing doesn't have to go [to a hearing]. Both sides have to be willing, and if that can happen because the numbers are so close, we should be able to get this thing settled."

The team had expressed a desire to sign Pollock to a multiyear contract following a 2015 season that saw him hit .315/.367/.498 with a career-high 192 hits, 20 home runs and 76 RBIs. He compiled the fourth-highest WAR by a position player in the National League.

Going into his age-28 season, this is the first time that Pollock has been eligible for salary arbitration, so the D-backs control his rights through 2018. He made $519,500 last year.

While the two sides are not that far apart on a deal for 2016, it appears they are further away when it comes to a multiyear contract.

"We have agreed, both parties, to table the multiyear [talks] for now," Stewart said. "That doesn't mean that we can't reopen the books on it at a later date. But for now, we're just going to table that."

All six of the other arbitration-eligible players were signed by Arizona on Friday.

If the D-backs and Pollock can't agree to a deal by February, the case would be heard by a three-person arbitration panel, which would side with either the player or the team. The panel cannot pick a midpoint number, but rather must choose either the player or team figure.

The D-backs went to a hearing last year with outfielder Mark Trumbo and lost. It marked the first hearing for the organization since 2001, when catcher Damian Miller went before a panel.