The Los Angeles Dodgers have another outfielder.
Things have gone quite nicely for the Dodgers in recent seasons, perhaps in part because their roster is full of — not just full of, bursting with — guys who can play multiple positions, both infield and outfield, and they can easily mitigate the inevitable injuries and fatigue of a baseball season.
And now they've got another one. They've reportedly signed A.J. Pollock to a multi-year contract, and while he can't play both center field and second base like half the position players on the Dodgers' roster, his arrival in L.A. creates some interesting potential ripple effects involving the White Sox.
The one that immediately comes to mind is Joc Pederson. Over the weekend, the White Sox and Dodgers were reported to be discussing a potential trade that would send Pederson to the South Side. Now that another outfielder has joined that roster and crowded the outfielder further, perhaps there's a need to get rid of one, potentially Pederson, and that could be the White Sox gain.
Any trade involving Pederson would have to be for the right price, as he's not a slam-dunk fit with the White Sox long-term plans, a free agent after the 2020 season. But he'd be an upgrade in the outfield and in the lineup and would be a nice placeholder while the White Sox wait for the likes of Luis Robert and Micker Adolfo to reach the major leagues. That price might be even more attractive now that the Dodgers have made that move and further crowded their outfield.
Or maybe the Dodgers could just hold on to Pederson and continue to rotate everyone. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported there's no trade imminent. We'll see.
#Dodgers figured they would be elite vs. RHPs, mediocre vs. LHPs; hence, motivation for Pollock. Plan is for him to be primary CFer, with Bellinger moving between CF, corner OF, 1B. LAD will have depth to rest regulars. Per sources, team not close to trading Pederson at moment.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2019
And then there's the previous maneuvering the Dodgers did this offseason, trading Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in a big trade with the Cincinnati Reds. At the time, it was speculated that might've been to better position the Dodgers for a run at Bryce Harper, the biggest fish swimming in this winter's free-agent pond. Well, Pollock is who the Dodgers ended up using that flexibility to acquire, causing for a speculative decrease in the likelihood they go after Harper, a player it's at times easy to forget the White Sox are still pursuing.
While the market for Harper has been reportedly small all winter long — it currently appears to be solely the White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals — the potential elimination of the Dodgers might aid the White Sox chances in their pursuit of bringing one of the best players in baseball to the South Side.
The Dodgers had a glut of outfielders. They eased it a bit. And now they have a glut again. Do the White Sox benefit? Either in a trade for Pederson or in a free-agent signing of Harper? Time will tell, but the possibility exists.