Report: AJ Pollock Declines $13M White Sox Contract Option, Becomes Free Agent

Erin WalshNovember 8, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 11: AJ Pollock #18 of the Chicago White Sox plays against the Cleveland Guardians during the fourth inning at Progressive Field on July 11, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox outfielder AJ Pollock has declined his $13 million contract option for the 2023 season and will become a free agent, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

Pollock will receive a $5 million buyout as a result.

The White Sox acquired Pollock from the Los Angeles Dodgers just six days before the 2022 campaign began in exchange for Craig Kimbrel.

His decision to decline the option on his contract comes as somewhat of a surprise given his performance in 2022. He slashed .245/.292/.389 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 138 games with the White Sox.

The 34-year-old began his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012 and spent seven seasons with the franchise, earning his only All-Star selection in 2015 after slashing .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI and 39 stolen bases in 157 games. He also earned a Gold Glove that year.

After his stint with the Diamondbacks, Pollock joined the Dodgers for three seasons and helped the franchise claim a World Series title in 2020. His best season with the Blue Crew came in 2021, when he slashed .297/.355/.536 with 21 home runs, 69 RBI and nine stolen bases in 117 games.

Now that Pollock is set to become a free agent, the White Sox will have an additional $10 million to spend in free agency. However, it's unclear if they'll use that money to add another outfielder alongside Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert Jr. and Adam Engel.

Aaron Judge is expected to be the most sought-after outfielder on the market, but players like Andrew Benintendi, Tommy Pham, Joey Gallo and Joc Pederson might be more reasonable targets for the White Sox.

The White Sox also need to focus on re-signing slugger José Abreu and pitcher Johnny Cueto, among others.