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Dodgers: Joc Pederson Would Have Stayed in LA But They Never Offered



Dodgers fans watched Joc Pederson hit big homeruns in the playoffs for a very long time. From the second that Joc call the call to the big league club, he showed up when it mattered the most. Without the Astros cheating their way to a 2017 title, he probably would’ve ended up with a  World Series MVP nod. 

But the Dodgers let him walk in free agency following the 2020 World Series run. That ended a 10-year run he had with the organization after being drafted out of Palo Alto High School in 2010. 

In an interview with The Athletic’s Andy McCullough this week, Andrew Friedman talked about Joc and the free agency process they went through. According to Joc, the team never even tried to offer him a deal when he hit the open market. 

With our personnel, it didn’t work to provide the opportunity to play every day. And I totally understood their desire to do that. If I were their agent or their dad or some confidante, that’s what I would have suggested to them. Obviously, we would have loved to have them back. But it didn’t line up… -Andrew Friedman

Friedman went on to say that he was in favor of Pederson and other guys chasing full-time roles and the contracts that go with them. But Joc also said that other teams offered roles similar to what the Dodgers would have needed, and it sounds like he would have preferred to stay in Los Angeles. 

There were a lot of other teams who were offering me fair offers with the same type of deals. If I was going to be a platoon player, I was going to be on a team who was competing in the playoffs.

Funny enough, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if not for Game 2 of the NLCS. Joc took Max Scherzer deep to tie the game and the Dodgers would go on to lose after a walk-off in the 9th inning. But if that homerun didn’t happen, fans in LA wouldn’t have nearly the same frustrations. 

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But here we are. Two games into the series and the Dodgers offense looking as anemic as ever. So yes, fans in Los Angeles are going to miss the big playoff bat of Joc. But there are sacrifices that would have had to have been made on both ends to make that happen. 

Sometimes, there just isn’t a match. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. i love the dodgers and have been following them for years. like 50+. they way they treat players are terrible. they want players to be flexible but with no respect.

    • Rick, Dodgers tried to get Joc to be able to hit left-handed pitching (which he just couldn’t). They tried him out a 1B, another failure. Joc was a one dimensional platoon guy. Joc wouldn’t even be starting for the Braves if Jorge Soler wasn’t out for Covid.

      Now Kike? Oh he had real talent! Gold glove defender at multiple positions and came up huge every postseason! Still shaking my head how the Dodgers let him walk via Free Agency. He signed a 2 year deal with the Red Sox for about half of what Play-off loser Pollock is making.

  2. Joc was hitting lefthanded pitching with Cubs but Braves manager is like roberts I think Joc was hitting 270 against lefthanders while with Cubs.Kike is tearing it up with redsox and playing everyday .We know Dodgers are missing them right now. Right now Roberts has to wake up and stop using Lux in center he’s an infielder put him at first and Cody back at center cause that doubble over Mookie in second game Cody would have caugh it also if you have the lead in 8th inning put Barnes in he’s better defensively cause th first throw to home plate was right there but Smith got it ahead of home plate and had to turned his body to tag the runner if he had been behind he would have tag him without loosing time turning his body. Hopefull Roberts starts Barnes to catch Julio for game 4.Go Dodgers

    • Barnes is much better defensively Luis, but he has been aweful with the bat. He needs Lux in the line up and also needs Smith’s bat. Smith is the only consistent hitter the dodgers have. The Turners JT and Trea have been aweful as well. I wish these Guys that are all run down and tired would call up Bonds and get some Juice. It worked for Crawford, Belt and posey……

      • Kirk, Barnes hit a HR and a squeeze play bunt in the same game last year vs the Rays! He would provide enough offense if given the opportunity. Only problem is where do you HIDE Smith on D! Smith would a great DH! As a catcher? Arghhh! His stupid attempt at framing cost Butane the punchout on Joc and we wouldn’t have even needed Cody’s heroics!!!

        Let’s go Dodgers!

    • Luis, I’m in total agreement on both. Up the middle defense is someplace you just can’t compromise in the playoffs. Dodgers were fortunate to have benefited from the DH last year. Smith DH’d which allowed Barnes to catch and that was huge!

      In my projected game 4 lineup I have Beaty at 1B and Cody “Gibson” Bellinger in CF where his gold glove will shine!

      As for Smith, he unfortunately can’t be put at 1B, we already saw what happened in the 9th inning against the Giants. We just gotta pray there are no plays at the plate! No way you can’t be without his bat.

      For the one millionth time…PITCHING AND DEFENSE WIN IN OCTOBER!

      let’s go Dodgers!

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I love Joc. The reason I feel the Dodgers did not make him an offer was simple. He wanted to be an everyday player. At the time, the Dodgers had (and still do) an embarrassing amount of everyday players ( and prospects)…many of which were capable of playing multiple positions. Does anyone remember the failed attempt to play Joc at first base? He wasn’t willing to come off the bench. Perhaps if he were consistent all season, it might have been different, but it’s no secret that Joc hits far better in the post season than the rest of the year.
    Why is he perfectly capable of being an amazing post season bat, hence the nickname “Joctober,” but he can’t come anywhere near that level of success the rest of the season, even when he was the everyday left fielder? Add into that the fact that when he hit free agency at the end of the 2020 season, he wanted far more money than the deep pockets of the Dodger organization were 9willing to pay. It would have been nice to keep him around, if only for the late season bat, but at the end of the day, the MLB is a business. It made no sense to pay him what he thought he was worth. Had the production been more consistent, it might have made sense. But it wasn’t. He priced himself out of a job he wasn’t really willing to compromise to keep.

  4. Except for rare spurts Joc was pathetic as a Dodger and there was really no reason to have him filling up a roster spot. The change of scenery took the pressure off and that made him better.

    • Nik, while that might have been true during the regular season, Joc always raked in the postseason! Why do you think they called him Joctober?? He just likes the big stage. Certain players are like that. Mookie is the same way. So is Kike….lifetime .240 hitter bathing .500 this postseason and just re-writing the record books!

      • I’m 100% ok with Joc walking, but didn’t like Kike leaving (even before his playoff performance). Just look at Joc’s body since he left. The dude is a slouch and wasn’t worth investing in a one dimensional player.

  5. Dodgers fan love Kike and Joc….but without them this year, Dodgers still won 106 games without having to spend $$ on those 2 contracts…

    I’m glad they are able to have full-time jobs with other clubs (Joc still part-time) but they will always be Dodgers royalty

  6. Joc was an automatic out vs left handers and you can’t carry a 190 hitter hoping and praying he does well in post season. The Dodgers have needed more right handed bats so who’s Joc replacing Mookie, Belli, Pollock Taylor? He’s not doing all that well in ATL anyhow

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