Dodgers: With Joc Pederson a Free Agent, LA Faces Tough Call Similar to Andre Ethier

The Los Angeles Dodgers, fresh off a championship season, are faced with several dilemmas this offseason. Several long-time cogs to the machine that has secured eight division titles in a row are currently free agents and able to sign anywhere.

Over the past few weeks, much has been made about clubhouse leader Justin Turner and his second go through free agency as a Dodger. But the team must also ponder the future of another veteran who’s been with LA for just as long as JT.

Moreover, Joc Pederson — with all of his strengths and flaws — has built quite a career with the Dodgers. He’s also built a stellar postseason resumé punctuated with a World Series championship.

And now the Dodgers face a fork in the road that feels similar to one they faced with former LA star Andre Ethier 8 years ago. Then GM Ned Colletti locked Ethier up to a 5-year, $85M deal. Of course, Dre was coming off several years of consistency and back-to-back All-Star berths. Joc is coming off one of the worst regular seasons of his career.

Still, he and the Dodgers kind of have a good thing going, even when it doesn’t always seem like it.

Recently, Molly Knight of The Atheltic opined that the Dodgers are “probably too good to pay a player like Joc” millions to be a part-time player. However, she also notes that the club might just be that better with him and “too good not to re-sign him.”

So far this offseason, the hot stove has been slow burning. As such, rumors around Joc have been hard to find, as with many free agents. While it’s likely in the best interest of his career to sign with another team this winter and rebuild his stock for another run at free agency after the 2021 season, could a return to LA make sense for both sides?

Where do you stand with the Dodgers/Pederson dilemma?

NEXT: MLB Writer Believes Gavin Lux Will Need to Win Back a Starting Job

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!


  1. I am a Joc fan but please! He does not compare to Ethier.
    The Dodgers lost North of $100 Million last year with no idea how 2021 will play out as far as fans in the stands & games on TV. I believe the Free Agent Market will be anemic as all the Teams lost huge amounts of money.
    The Dodgers have guys like Raley, DJ Peters, McKinstry, White, Gray, etc that appear to be ready to come up and the Dodgers could save Millions on not signing Joc, Kike, Baez, & others that are ready to play.
    The Dodgers must see if they can extend Seager if not they should decide to trade him or go with a trade or get a free agent until Lux, Mann, Amaya, Vargas, Pages, Busch, and Hoese. Remember there are rumors the Dodgers are talking about playing Will Smith at 3rd as Barnes proved to find his offense and proved to call excellent games in the playoffs & Ruiz is ready for the MLB. Do they trade Ruiz? Or go with a Will Smith, Rios, Beaty, Muncy platoon at 3rd?

    1. Arte Moreno and the Angels still need a left handed power hitter to go along with Trout and Rendon. Moreno stupidly pulled out of the deal that would have given him Pederson without giving up any quality players in return last year. I was glad to see that deal fall apart. We got Mookie and Graterol out of the multi team trade, and got to keep Pederson. If Moreno can locate his mind, he might realize he needed Pederson last year and still does. But I still like platooning Pollack and Pederson. Pederson’s postseason performance is the key. Even with San Diego becoming a contender, the Dodgers will continue to be regulars in the postseason, and need to perform when they get there.

  2. Ethier was not a part-time player like Pedersen has become. Joc has been a good soldier for the team and has tended to produce better in the post season than anyone not named Turner. But there is not a full time role for him on the team and he deserves to go somewhere he can be a full time player. He has no reason to resign with the Dodgers unless his market completely craters. And, even then, the Dodgers are not faced with a particular need to resign him. The Dodgers are on top of the world and Joc helped them get there. But it is probably time for him to move on.

  3. Well, when GM’s around the league are comparing Will Smith to Buster Posey, perhaps its Austin Barnes who has played 2B is trained to play 3B. Let Smith develop.

    But, remember: Cody Hoese is expected to be up in 2022, so anything you’re doing is a one-year (maybe one and a half year) band aid. And Rios (and even a part-time Turner) could be that filler.

    My bet is that Lux is moved as Michael Busch is impressing league officials at the Rookie camp…

  4. Dodgers fan since 1955. I’ve seen ‘em come and go. If we’re going to continue to play “platoon” baseball (which I detest) we only weaken ourselves by not signing Joc. It’s hard to find someone of his caliber who is content with the platoon system and is consistently effective.
    Personally, I would like to see him as an every-day player. I believe he would learn to hit left-handed pitching in short order. He would be an every-day player in most cities in most cities today, and his season stats would confirm his superstar capabilities.

    1. Will welcome to 21st-century baseball and sabermetrics. My Father took me to a Dodger game in the Coliseum in 1958 I have been a fan since. The game has changed. I loved listening to Vin describing on my grandmother’s radio Maury Wills stealing a base on his way to 104 in 1962. I was ecstatic that Mookie brought the stolen base back to the Dodgers in 2020. Pederson’s splits are terrible! I truly like Joc but platooning is what Talent Rich Teams will go with the at-bat split numbers like them or not.
      Pederson had a horrible regular season and frankly, Pollock earned playing full time. The Dodgers have a lot of very capable multi-position players that bat from the left and right. Pollock can play all 3 OF positions as can Bellinger plus he is a potential GG first baseman. Taylor is incredibly talented and can play all over the diamond. Muncy can play all over the INF except SS and the list goes on. Utility is a skill set the Dodgers obviously are embracing and training for on the Farm with that will come platooning.

  5. i too am….no, was a fan of joc. i thought he’d be a perfect platoon with pollock. nope. his all or nothing swing is going more toward nothing. he’s too damn streaky and we already have enough left hand bats.

  6. As much as it pains me you have to let them go. Resign Our star core and fill it in with our excellent young talent that we have been producing over the years. This way we will have the ability compete year in and year out and whatever areas we need to improve can be traded for. Like the Mookie Betts deal.

  7. Sign Joc. He fills a need and never complains. A fan and team favorite he belongs with the Dodgers.

    1. Decisions need to be made looking towards locking up Seager, Bellinger and Buehler. Joc is just too expensive in the scheme of things and if they do sign him and eventually want to trade him, they’d probably have to eat some of the contract. Joc has let his defense really go and he didn’t look to be in great condition last season, either. If Lux gets included in a big trade, I’d rather spend money on Kike and make him the regular at 2b. If Kike needed to eventually be traded, I think he’d be easier to move.

  8. I’m a Joc fan. Would love to have the Dodgers sign him. Every time you saw him during the playoffs he was always out there so enthusiastic and encouraging his teammates. It was great to see him cheerleading. However, he deserves a starting position somewhere. If he can get more money with the opportunity to play full-time he needs to take it. Will be sad to see him go but he got his ring!!!!

  9. He needs to go now, do not need another Kenley Jasen deal ! Joc has never for the Dodgers ever lived up to his so call potential enough cut the tie. Dodger and L A fan for 62 years. Go Dodgers need another World Series ring to get even with that so-call club up north

  10. Joc will be paid for what he is and what he is worth. That is a guy who is below the Mendoza line against leftys, and a power hitter against rightys. How many teams have a need for a non everyday player? Offer him a modest 1 year contract to get his act together and try for free agency again when MLB financial picture improves. Most teams have prospects who can hit .200 for peanuts.

  11. The Dodgers 2021 payroll currently is at about $188 million. If the goal is to stay at or below $210 million many tough decisions must be made. Do you extend Seager ? How about trading 3-4 prospects for Snell ? How about 2/25 for Turner and 2/15 for Hand?I I say yes to all. Could you get a team like the Blue Jays to take half of our $16 million obligation on Price’s contract? If so, your at $180 mil.
    With the above additions I estimate they total $43 million and a new payroll at around $223 million. What do you think?

    1. Price knows he at the very end of his career. So, why not pay him a $6 mil signing bonus in 2021 for accepting a new 10-year $64 mil deal. Same money except the signing bonus, but then only costs $6.4 mil per year. That will cover the first nine years of his retirement. Frees up $28 million for 2021 and 2022…

  12. With Edwin Rios, Joc is surplus to requirements. Thanks Joc… but we have other areas that could use a little help (not much frankly) such as the bullpen. Better to save our money to give Saeger a big contract.

  13. Joc should sign a one year deal with the Dodgers to improve from last year’s performance in hopes of things getting back to normal in 2022 and then hope to get a 2 to 3 year deal with whomever.

  14. Joc will always be the the best. a true babe ruth. when he played he always wacks one after another. when he is on the bench. Cannot show his talent. and always a jump up first. for his team mates. a true Dodger. always a smile.always . hope he stays where he is loved. any team needs more players like joc. Go big blue. and all other dodgers free agents. THE BEST IN YOUR DECISIONS. you and your familys the best. A good fan joanie.

  15. Joc is a luxury not a necessity for this Dodger team. it really boils down to what the market it willing to pay Joc and what role he wants moving forward. He is a corner OF platoon bat, which means his market is limited. There might be a team that sees Pederson as an everyday player and would pay him more than the Dodgers are willing to pay him. If Joc wants to play everyday, he will be gone. If he sees there isnt much of a market for him and he is willing to play his same limited role, the Dodger will have another role player on a team friendly deal.

    I appreciate everything he has contributed to the Dodgers and I wish him nothing but the best regardless if he is a Dodger or not next season.

  16. Yes, let’s keep him! This is by no means a analytical decision. I get attached to these guys and usually want to them to stay. Unless they are named Andruw Jones or that jerk that came over in the Rich Hill deal.

  17. Joc is Mr. Clutch when it comes to the Post Season he has proved his worth consistently. If you can bring him back without braking the bank. Or blowing it so you can’t sign other players already on the team by all means yes resign him.

  18. His value as a teammate is at least equal to his value as a platoon guy. Not to mention Champ when he’s in the dugout!

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