Trade Candidate: Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson nearly found himself on his way out of Chavez Ravine earlier this winter, when the Dodgers and Angels came to an agreement to trade Pederson to the Angels along with Ross Stripling in exchange for infielder Luis Rengifo. However, that deal fell apart when the aforementioned Mookie Betts deal hit a snag after the Red Sox decided they weren’t happy with the return of Brusdar Graterol. While the Betts trade eventually went through, Arte Moreno decided he wasn’t having any of the shenanigans and killed the move to acquire Pederson from the Dodgers.
So is it out of the question that the Dodgers decide to float Pederson again in trade rumors throughout the season? No, it really isn’t.
For all Pederson can do with the bat, (120 career wRC+, .242 ISO, 123 career home runs), most of that damage is done versus right-handed pitching, and his splits against left-handers (.188/.263/.310 against lefties) make him more of a platoon player in a crowded Dodgers outfield.
A pending free agent at the end of the season, and the lack of an everyday role, Pederson is likely looking to leave the Dodgers at season’s end anyway. The trade this winter showed the Dodgers’ desire to get something in exchange for their former top prospect rather than a willingness to saddle Pederson with a qualifying offer and settle for draft pick compensation. As such, he becomes the Dodgers’ most likely trade chip.
His relative youth (28-years-old before the season begins) and power potential will make him enticing to teams looking for outfield help, and there is always the possibility that another team can solve the platoon issues in his swing. The trick will be lining up with a potential seller that either sees Pederson as a future, extendable piece, or as a stop-gap to finish out the season.