Dodgers: Predicting which free agents return in 2021

Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Predicting 2021 Dodgers Free Agents: Joc Pederson

Prediction: Signs with a new team

I suppose I should have written this one after I wrote about Mookie Betts, but with the prospect of Betts returning to the outfield on a long-term deal, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for Joc Pederson.

In an ideal world, the Dodgers will have Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger manning the outfield for years to come. They also have A.J. Pollock locked up through 2022 (he has an opt-out after 2021, but I wouldn’t count on him exercising it). That doesn’t leave a lot of at-bats for Pederson, who has proven to be a prolific hitter against righties, and whatever the opposite of that is against lefties.

If depth is a concern, team president Andrew Friedman still has Chris Taylor on the roster, along with Matt Beaty. While Pederson’s power against right-handed pitchers would be missed, there are plenty of hitters to make up for his lost production in the lineup, and certainty plenty of gloves.

The Dodgers would be wise to reinvest the money they would pay to keep Pederson into other areas on the team that are more pressing concerns.