The SF Giants' busy week continued as they landed one of the better power-hitting outfielders on the market. Jon Morosi of the MLB Network confirmed that longtime Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson has agreed to a deal with the Giants.
SF Giants sign longtime division rival and former All-Star
The deal is a one-year pact for $6 million. Pederson joins an already crowded outfield, but this is a chance for him to return home.
The Doggers originally selected the left-handed bat in the 11th round of the 2010 draft out of Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California. He emerged as one of the better prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 8 according to Baseball America prior to the 2015 season.
He debuted with the Dodgers in 2014 but he became a regular contributor by 2015. In his rookie season, he slashed .210/.346/.417 (113 OPS+) with 26 home runs, 67 runs, and 54 RBI in 585 plate appearances. This earned him a NL All-Star bid and some down-ballot Rookie of the Year votes.
He continued a successful seven-year run with the Dodgers that culminated in a World Series ring in 2020. During that time, he posted a .230/.336/.470 line (116 OPS+) with four seasons in which he swatted over 20 home runs.
The 29-year-old outfielder became a free agent for the first time after 2020 where he signed a one-year pact, which included a mutual option, with the Chicago Cubs. Given that the Cubs were 44-46 at the All-Star break, they decided to tear down the roster beginning with Pederson.
The left-handed bat was shipped to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for first baseball prospect Bryce Ball. Pederson registered a .752 OPS with the Braves following the trade. However, he found another gear in the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers where he blasted two home runs with five RBI while helping the Braves beat the Brewers in four games.
Of course, it bears mentioning that Pederson has been a good luck charm in recent seasons as he has been part of consecutive World Series victories.
How he fits onto the Giants roster is not totally obvious. The Giants had a contingent of outfielders before the signing that included LaMonte Wade Jr., Mike Yastrzemski, Steven Duggar, Darin Ruf, and Austin Slater. Wade Jr., Yastrzemski, and Duggar along with Pederson all hit from the left side, but the addition of universal DH allows for a little flexibility.
It feels like the Giants still have another move up the front office's sleeve. However, the addition of Pederson gives them a potent bat that they can leverage against right-handed pitching.