Should the SF Giants re-sign Joc Pederson in the offseason?

San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics
San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The SF Giants are in the midst of a playoff push, but we are going to take a moment to look at what they might have coming this winter. With that in mind, what should they do with one of their top impending free agents in Joc Pederson?

Should the SF Giants re-sign Joc Pederson in the offseason?

The veteran bat earned an NL All-Star nod in 2022 as he registered a .274/.353/.521 line (145 OPS+) with 23 home runs, 70 RBI, and 57 runs in 433 plate appearances. The Giants rewarded him by issuing a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer, which he accepted.

If he had rejected the qualifying offer and signed elsewhere, then the Giants would have received a compensatory pick. The draft pick compensation tied to his name would have really limited his market, so it made sense that he accepted it. He is not eligible to receive a qualifying offer again this offseason.

Last year, Pederson struggled badly in the field. He was worth -12 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and -9 Outs Above Average (OAA). Regardless of the metric you use, he was well below average with the glove.

The Giants' defense has improved quite a bit in 2023 due in part to limiting Pederson's playing time in the field as he has collected just 91 innings on defense. At this stage in his career, he is likely best suited for a DH-only role. And, it may be the type of role that allows him to prolong his career given that he is a solid offensive producer.

That said, the left-handed bat has struggled to replicate the numbers he posted last year. His overall numbers are still solid as he has tallied a .230/.350/.426 line (113 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 38 RBI, and 41 runs in 277 plate appearances. This includes a solid 14.1 percent walk rate against a 20.9 percent strikeout rate.

The Giants have the fourth-worst strikeout rate in baseball at 24.9 percent, so Pederson does help them out in that area. Plus, his walk rate is 14th-best mark in baseball among hitters with at least 250 plate appearances. He does a lot of what the Giants like in a hitter.

Despite the drop in his overall numbers, the 10-year veteran remains a middle-of-the-order hitter. And, there just are not many power hitters in this year's class of free agents. Shohei Ohtani, Teoscar Hernández, Matt Chapman, and Cody Bellinger are some of the best potential options out there, but there is a drop-off after that.

In the case of Bellinger, he and the Chicago Cubs hold a mutual option for 2024. Bellinger will likely decline his part of the option in favor of free agency. Meanwhile, Ohtani would look great in orange and black. Just saying.

This brings us back to Pederson. Should the Giants re-sign him? If the price is right, then it makes sense for both parties. The market is not too kind to DH-only players and Pederson will not receive a deal with an annual value of $20 million like he is currently making.

Perhaps, a two-year deal with an average annual value of $10 million gets it done. Pederson's camp will be pushing for closer to the two-year, $33 million deal Josh Bell received from the Cleveland Guardians last winter.

A deal like that may not make sense for the Giants, but if they can fund a deal in between, then it is possible that they continue the relationship. Otherwise, the Giants will have to look for a left-handed power bat elsewhere.