One free agent may soon come off of the market, According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been in contact with Joc Pederson as they search for a DH bat.
Arizona Diamondbacks have been in contact with SF Giants 2022 All-Star
Pederson's market has been quiet this winter with the exception of the Toronto Blue Jays reportedly being interested in the left-handed bat in December. Given his track record, it feels like a deal with Toronto would have materialized by now if they were legitimately interested.
Both the Blue Jays and the Diamondbacks have been in the market for another bat. Jorge Soler has often been speculated as a target among both teams, and evidently, Pederson joins that group.
The Diamondbacks are poised to make the postseason again in 2024 after squeaking in at the end of the 2023 season. Arizona powered through some quality teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies to reach the World Series. However, the Texas Rangers proved to be too tough of an opponent as the clinched the title in five games.
Still, the Diamondbacks are doing exactly what you would want to see a team do when it feels like their competitive window has opened. They have built a competitive team through trades and the draft. Now, they are looking to supplement that roster through free agency.
And, they have been one of the more aggressive teams this offseason. Arizona's notable additions include signing Eduardo Rodríguez, retaining Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and acquiring Eugenio Suárez from the Seattle Mariners.
Pederson would bolster an already strong Diamondbacks roster. Though, he is coming off of a bit of a down year as he slashed .235/.348/.416 (111 OPS+) with 15 home runs in 425 plate appearances. The 31-year-old still tallied a solid .348 on-base percentage and consistently made hard contact even if the results do not show it.
Pederson is just one year removed from blasting 23 home runs and earning his second NL All-Star nod, so there is plenty of reason to believe in a rebound. A return to San Francisco seems unlikely as they look to get younger and more athletic. The roster just does not have the space for a DH-only player like the 10-year veteran, but he still is an above-average hitter and can impact the roster in that regard.
Editor's note: Joc Pederson agreed to a deal with the Diamondbacks on Thursday night, per Steve Gilbert of MLB.Com.