Dodgers: NL rival swipes Joc Pederson in strange offseason fit

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 25: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 25: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Joc Pederson has been a fixture in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization since 2010, when he was regarded as one of the league’s promising young prospects.

Since coming up to the big leagues in 2014, his sweeping swing has planted more than a few meatballs into the right-field bleachers. Unfortunately, Dodgers fans had to mentally prepare themselves for his departure this offseason because everyone knew this pairing wasn’t going to live on.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed Ken Rosenthal’s original report indicating Pederson has left the Dodgers to join the Chicago Cubs on a one-year, $7 million deal. It looks like the slugging outfielder will use a one-year pact in an attempt to rebuild his value after a shortened 2020 and instead cash in next offseason.

Joc Pederson will bring his unique approach at the plate to the Chicago Cubs

Pederson, who has been flirting with leaving for some time, was one of many players that suffered a noticeable downturn in production during the shortened 2020 season. After clubbing 36 home runs, a new personal best, next to MVP Cody Bellinger in 2019, Pederson hit just seven in 43 games last year. A career .230 hitter, Pederson struggled at the plate, failing to crack the Mendoza line with a .190 average.

But he caught fire in the postseason and ended up with his first championship ring after years of World Series titles eluding the Dodgers.

The Cubs had a hole in left field, as a converted catcher and defensive liability Kyle Schwarber signed with the Washington Nationals after being non-tendered this offseason. While Pederson will bring the same boom-or-bust approach at the plate to Chicago, he’s a notably better defender than Schwarber. Pederson will be expected to start alongside Jason Heyward and Ian Happ in the Cubs outfield.

Pederson was a fixture in LA for the last seven seasons and we all thought it came to a screeching when the Dodgers reportedly agreed to a trade to send him to the Angels last offseason. However, the deal fell through, Pederson return to the Dodgers, and absolutely dominated in the postseason (he batted .394 with four runs scored, two homers and six RBI in 33 at-bats) and helped LA capture its first title in 32 years.

The 28-year-old may not have been a consistent game-breaker throughout his tenure, but he came through with countless clutch hits and noticeably improved his play in the postseason. He’ll surely be missed in Los Angeles when October rolls around, but the Dodgers should be just fine with a Mookie Betts-Cody Bellinger-AJ Pollock outfield for now.