The MLB trade deadline floodgates have officially opened up with 2 weeks left. The first big trade of the mid-season was announced when the Cubs sent Joc Pederson over to the Atlanta Braves. It’s an interesting trade, but one that could benefit Atlanta greatly.
The Braves are 44-45 but also trailing the first-place Mets by just 4 games in the NL East. After losing Ronald Acuna Jr for the year with a knee injury, they needed an outfielder to shore up the defense. Pederson was one of the better available MLB outfielders on the market this early on.
If the Braves do fall out of contention over the next 2 weeks, they could look to trade Pederson again. Most teams in MLB could use a big left-handed bat, especially one with as much playoff success as Joc.
In exchange for Pederson, the Cubs received 1B prospect Bryce Ball. The left-handed slugging prospect immediately dropped into Chicago’s top 30 prospect list after being traded. Ball has struggled at High-A this year after tearing apart minor league pitching in 2019. He is projected to reach the MLB level right around 2023.
Pederson will be the first piece of the Cubs to fall as they start the rebuild process. At 44-46 and 8 games out of the NL Central division, it sounds like they have decided to be sellers after all. Guys like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Craig Kimbrel are all expected to be at least discussed.