There’s been a rumor surrounding the White Sox that has peaked my interest the last couple of days…and no, I’m not talking about Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. That shit is literally taking years off my life.
Instead, I’m talking about this little nugget on a certain Dodgers outfielder being traded to the South Side…
— Jason Kinander (@JasonKinander) January 20, 2019
I know Joc Pederson isn’t exactly a world-beater of a ballplayer. He’s a career .228 hitter and has largely fallen short of expectations since his 2015 killing spree before that year’s All-Star game when he smacked 20 homers and drove in 40 runs. He is now your average middle-tier outfielder that’s reliable for 20-25 homeruns and fills in nicely as a 7th or 8th hitter.
So, why does he fit nicely on the White Sox?
To me, it’s just a win-win situation.
The first win: Pederson comes cheap at $5 million per year on the recent contract he signed with the Dodgers. And at 26, he’s still pretty young in his career and is only coming up on his 5th full season of baseball. He also saw a decent year last season at 25 HRs, 56 RBI with a .248 avg. and a .321 OBP. He’s the perfect guy for the Sox to plug in this year and maybe even next year to keep the outfield warm for guys like Luis Robert and Luis Alexander Basabe until they’re ready for The Show. Coming to the Sox also gives Pederson a chance to reboot his career out of the LA spotlight with a team on the rise. This gives him a chance to prove to the Sox or other clubs out there that he still has some juice (the non-steroid kind, of course) and that he can be a reliable everyday outfielder. This again potentially gives the Sox a player they can keep on their team while their young prospects develop OR a guy they can shop around at the trade deadline for teams in playoff contention – although, I really think the White Sox can be in playoff contention with the right moves to conclude this off-season – you know which ones.
The second win: Let’s say Pederson plays short of expectations and isn’t that great – again, who really cares? The Sox aren’t expected to make a run this coming season, so they can play with moves like acquiring Pederson and seeing how he does. I’d still love him on my team to pinch hit, fill in for starters like Eloy Jimenez and serve as the utility outfielder. He also brings a winning perspective to the club that could be invaluable: the Dodgers made the NLDS in 2015, the NLCS in 2016 and the World Series in both 2017 and 2018. Pederson knows the ins and outs of a consistent contender and could bring some great insight to the young Sox players being called up – although, I have no idea how he is as a teammate.
All I’m saying is, I think this move could pay off really well if it works out and it’s not that big of a risk. I think it’s something Rick Hahn sees and it’s something I would love for him to act on in this slow-ass MLB off-season.
Also, he was teammates with Machado…maybe they were best buds while he had his short stint on the Dodgers last season? Is this another play to get all of Manny’s boys on the Sox?
Maybe…maybe not…but I’ll take him either way.
Featured Image: Edited from Visit California