The SF Giants will likely not explore a reunion with veteran bat Joc Pederson. However, the Toronto Blue Jays have rekindled their interest in Pederson while expressing interest in both Michael Brantley and Jorge Solar, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
Toronto Blue Jays have checked in on former SF Giants All-Star bat
Interestingly, Davidi says that Toronto is rekindling its interest in Pederson, meaning that he has been a target in prior offseasons. On a related note, the Los Angeles Dodgers could explore a reunion with the left-handed hitter as well.
Earlier in the offseason, we looked at whether some non-tendered players could hurt Pederson's market given the similarity in skillset. The veteran bat does have a much better track record than some designated hitters on the market, so he certainly has that in his favor.
The 31-year-old spent the first seven years of his career with the Dodgers followed by brief stops with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves in 2021 before spending the past two seasons with San Francisco.
The Giants signed him to a one-year, $6 million deal for 2022. That turned out to be a nice move for both parties as he registered a .274/.353/.521 line (144 OPS+) with 23 home runs, 70 RBI, and 57 runs in 433 plate appearances while earning an NL All-Star bid.
Pederson briefly re-entered free agency last year. The Giants issued him a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer to which he accepted. The purpose of this maneuver was to sidestep the need for a multi-year deal.
The Giants paid a premium for one year of the veteran bat and that is often the case with one-year deals. This turned out to be a disappointing move as he posted a .235/.348/.416 line (111 OPS+) with just 15 home runs in 425 plate appearances. The Giants used him primarily as their DH and that is likely going to be his role going forward with prospective teams.
The power numbers disappeared, but he and his representatives will likely be selling teams on his solid .348 on-base percentage and the fact that his batted ball profile was still solid despite a dip in production.
The Blue Jays have a solid core of position players, so there would not be as much pressure from Pederson to produce as there was during his time with San Francisco. Interestingly, Toronto is looking to replace the production from former Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who is deciding whether he wants to continue his playing career.
There could be interest in a reunion between the Blue Jays and Belt if he decides he wants to continue playing. For the time being, Toronto is casting a wide net to add another proven bat to the lineup.