Today marks the end of an era in Los Angeles. Joc Pederson will not be returning to the Dodgers as the free-agent outfielder signs a new deal with the Cubs. Joc had spent the previous 10 years with the organization after they drafted him in the 11th round out of Palo Alto High School.
It was reported early this morning that Joc signed a deal with Chicago. Joc will earn $7 million on the deal that will be for one year. Those parameters were reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN. The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2022 year with a significant buyout.
In his time with the Dodgers, Pederson compiled a career slash line of .230/.336/.470 through 748 big league games. But his brightest moments were in the playoffs, where Joc would come through in some of the biggest spots. During the 2017 World Series, Pederson would have easily been the MVP if not for a certain cheating team out of Houston. He hit 3 home runs during that series and reached base at a .400 clip.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers and Joc, he did not fit the profile of what they need long-term. Pederson is a career .191 hitter against left-handed pitching, making him strictly a platoon option for LA. Playing for a team like Cubs might give him the chance to be an everyday player, possibly getting breaks against tough southpaws.
The Cubs will essentially replace Kyle Schwarber with Joc, two guys who profile very similar. The main difference between the two is that Pederson has the edge on the defensive side of the ball. Schwarber signed a free-agent deal with the Nationals this offseason. The good news is that it is going to be a lot of fun watching Joc hit homeruns at Wrigley.
Dodgers fans will always look back fondly on Pederson’s time in Los Angeles, and his contributions certainly will not go unnoticed. He will forever be a part of the 2020 World Series team, and will always be welcomed home. Best of luck Joc!
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