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.
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.