Atlanta Braves rumors: looking at a trade for Joc Pederson

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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 26: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his third inning home run against the Boston Red Sox in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This could be one of the more surprising rumors of the off-season – one we hadn’t really given much thought to… until now.

The idea that the Atlanta Braves could go after the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson had actually crossed our minds in the past couple of months.  In fact, he’s been mentioned 3 times:  here, here, and most recently here.

But the underlying stories have never involved any kind of strong possibility.

  • There’s been the idea of ‘helping’ the Dodgers move payroll (supposedly settled with the trade of Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to Cincinnati).
  • There’s been thoughts of just throwing his name in a group of ‘other possibilities’
  • But there’s been thoughts that Pederson might not even be a fit for the Atlanta club.

But mostly, it’s been about Pederson’s name coming up without a lot of actual context for the Braves… heck, even as we’ve discussed the words of Alex Anthopoulos from ChopFest, we’ve been looking more at names we’ve explored or some completely under-the-radar options.

Maybe we need to rethink all of that now.  Here’s why:

Even after trading 2 outfielders, the Dodgers are apparently still looking to ‘rebalance’ their outfield lineup, and Joc Pederson seems to be the odd man out.


The Pederson Principle

Pederson will turn 27 years old just after the beginning of the 2019 season and still comes with 2 years of team control – not a free agent until after 2020’s campaign.

His second arbitration year will see him getting $5 million this season – from some team – and he’s now the highest paid remaining OF on the Dodgers roster, which includes the names Chris Taylor (option #4 – slottable at any OF position, plus the middle infield), Cody Bellinger (CF), and Enrique Hernandez.

Pederson showed real promise as a 3.1 and 3.6 fWAR producer in 2015-16 before falling back to 0.6 in a shortened 2017 and 2.7 in 2018… albeit with fewer AB.  He’s not one to hit for average (~.240-.250), but is good for 25-30 HR with a full season and plays adequate defense.

That’s hardly terrible, so what’s not to like?

The cover story is that the Dodgers are too lefty-heavy and need to move somebody to change that focus in their lineup.  Okay… let me check:

  • Hernandez (Right-Handed Hitter)
  • Bellinger (LHH)
  • Taylor (RHH)
  • Pederson (LHH)
  • Turner (RHH)
  • Seager (LHH)
  • Barnes (RHH)
  • Muncy (LHH)
  • (LHH Alex Verdugo is lurking about as well)

That like pretty balanced to me… unless they are really after something bigger and Bryce-r.  Or perhaps more Pollock-y.

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