Without question, the cool thing about events like Los Angeles Dodgers FanFest is it provides the opportunity to hear from most of the players within the organization. For instance, how many times during the regular season do we get Joc Pederson in front of a microphone?
Indeed, Dodgers Nation was in attendance for FanFest this past Saturday when Pederson met with the media to talk Houston Astros, as well as his future with the organization.
Let’s take a look what Pederson had to say on the subjects at hand.
First, Pederson is asked how angry he is with the Astros’ sign-stealing antics of the past. Here is what Pederson has to say:
“Great question. It’s frustrating but you know it was a few years ago. We have lost a World Series since then too. I don’t believe it was right but we have to move on from it and use it as fuel to get back to the World Series and win.”
Another Dodger ready to move on and look to the upcoming season — fair enough.
Of course, when looking at the upcoming season, there is at least one looming issue for Pederson… the state of his contract. The 27-year-old is entering his final year of team control with Los Angeles. Moreover, he and the Dodgers sit $1.75M apart on a contract for 2020 as they head toward a salary arbitration hearing.
Along the way this off-season, Pederson has also found his name involved in some trade rumors for the second winter in a row. He spoke on his interesting off-season, and his thoughts on playing with the Dodgers beyond this season.
“It’s just a good thing to be wanted, but it is what it is. I’m under contract with the Dodgers and they can do what they want. I love playing here and love playing baseball, so whatever my future holds I am excited for. I would love to be in LA to win a World Series. I think we have a group of guys that have become extremely close. It’s something [winning the World Series] is right at our fingertips and it’s looking promising.”
Joc and Friedman talking contract..? pic.twitter.com/M3NluoAIQ7
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) January 25, 2020
Look, while I have longed all off-season for the Dodgers to make a power move; it’s players like Pederson that add key depth which will have the team in the hunt anyways. Quietly, he hit a career-high 36 home runs to pair with an .876 OPS. Altogether it was good for a 3.3 bWAR. The bottom line is this is the type of unheralded production that will allow Los Angeles to sustain the success they had last season in 2020.