Dodgers fans have come to love Joc Pederson since the time he was drafted by LA back in 2010. His meteoric rise through the organization culminated in a promotion to the big leagues in 2014. But it wasn’t until 2015 that the organization knew what he was fully capable of.
Joc showed up in 2015 and popped off 26 homeruns while demonstrating a keen ability to draw walks. While his strikeout rate was pretty high, his ability to get on base and hit balls a long way was great for what the Dodgers needed.
And now just 5 years later, Dodgers fans might have to say goodbye to Joc. Pederson is currently a free agent with few signs that he will be returning back to Los Angeles. In fact, former MLB general manager Jim Bowden listed him as a perfect fit for the Anaheim Angels. More on that from Bowden at The Athletic:
His left-handed bat would fit perfectly as a fourth outfielder and back-up designated hitter on days that Shohei Ohtani pitches. He’d also help keep Justin Upton’s legs fresh by playing once or twice a week in left field.
The funny thing is that the Dodgers and Angels had a deal in place in February to send Joc to Orange County. Instead, Angels owner Arte Moreno grew impatient and pulled the plug on the deal. But Joc fits everything that the Angels need, including a bat to fill in for Ohtani on days that he gets the ball.
The only real question with the Angels is whether they will be able to pay Joc. Pederson was set to make $7.5 million before the pandemic took over, and he will likely earn much more in free agency. If Anaheim is able to offer him a decent deal, there would be no reason for the Dodgers to try to top it at this point.
Regardless of where he ends up, Dodgers fans will always remember Joc for his postseason heroics. Pederson had some huge hits throughout his time in Los Angeles, and when he leaves, he gets to leave as a World Series champion.
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