Dodgers: Joc Pederson’s Next 12 Months Should Be Interesting

The year 2020 will be interesting for Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. I am taking a break from the cheating scandals and the Hall of Fame voting results to talk about the upcoming season.

The 2020 calendar year started with Pederson and the Dodgers being $1.75M apart in arbitration numbers. For the last several off-seasons he has been subject to trade rumors and this off-season has not been any different. However, it looks like Joc will be in the Dodgers lineup against right-handed pitching starting the 2020 season.

The big question becomes whether the Dodgers just hold on to Pederson for one more season or do they consider a multi-year contract for him.

It is amazing that over 2,400 fans were split 50/50. This article will take a look at the career of Pederson so far and look at what a fair multi-year contract might look like.

The 2019 Season

All in all, it seems 2019 was Pederson’s best season in the Major Leagues. Last September I wrote about some key improvements he made. Pederson is a very streaky hitter and 2019 was no different. Some statistical highlights:

  • Career highs in hits, runs, RBI and batting average
  • 36 home runs – career high
  • .558 slugging – career high
  • .876 OPS – career high
  • 127 OPS+ – career high
  • Career highs in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating/150 (UZR/150)

With a bWAR (Baseball Reference wins above replacement) of 3.3 and a fWAR (FanGraphs model) of 3.0, Pederson was quite a bargain at $5M in 2019. Some value a WAR point of anywhere from $7-10M so Joc was worth anywhere from $21M to $30M in value. His arbitration salary demand of $9.5M does not seem unreasonable.

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Figuring Out What Joc Should Be Paid

Below is a table of outfielders sorted by wRC+ (Weighted Runs Created Plus) of players with a similar wRC+ to Joc Pederson. The 2020 salary for each player is also included. If Pederson actually does reach arbitration I can see Joc willing his $9.5M request.