Blue Jays: Would Joc Pederson be an outfield upgrade?

Should the Toronto Blue Jays look to add outfielder Joc Pederson following the Los Angeles Dodgers inability to propel their deal over the finish line with the Angels?

The Los Angeles counterparts had consummated a proposed deal that would send Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling, and Andy Pages in exchange for Luis Rengifo on the heels of the Mookie Betts trade. The fabric of the trade came unglued when the Red Sox baulked at the medicals in the Betts deal and the Angels eventually removed themselves from the Pederson trade.

The Dodgers are now in a precarious position with Pederson and have a surplus of outfielders heading into the 2020 campaign. It is no secret that the Blue Jays desperately need an outfielder, specifically a centre fielder. However, would Pederson be enough of an upgrade to warrant the acquisition?

The outfielder was formally a full-time centre fielder in 2016 and has filled in sporadically for the Dodgers since then. He manned centre in two games last season, 32 games in 2018 and 92 games in 2017. Pederson also played first base in 20 games in 2019.

The acquisition would give Manager Charlie Montoyo the option of Randal Grichuk or Pederson in centre, however, neither is going to win a Gold Glove anytime soon. Pederson could also platoon with Teoscar Hernandez giving the lefty days off versus southpaws.

Pederson will turn 28 in April and is set to earn $7.750 million in his final season before hitting free agency. The outfielder hit .249/.339/.538 with a career-high 36 home runs, 74 runs batted in and a 3.3 WAR in 149 games last season.

Defensively, Pederson was an above-average defender last season accumulating 11 Defensive Runs Saved coupled with a 13.2 UZR/150 while making only two errors in 122 outfield games in 2019.

Is Pederson the long-term answer, probably not, but he could be an upgrade and add to the outfield depth while providing some added pop to the offence. As it stands now the likes of Derek Fisher, Billy McKinney, Jonathan Davis, and Anthony Alford are next in line on the depth chart. Pederson is a definite upgrade over those four hopefuls.

The Dodgers may even take a lesser-known prospect just to make this trade go down before it begins to cause a distraction in camp. The Blue Jays have the prospect capital on the farm to get this deal done without batting an eye.

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And Hey, Pederson can add to the bloodlines tradition as his father Stu Pederson played eight games in the majors with the Dodgers in 1985. At the end of the day, I would have no issue with the front office adding Pederson for the 2020 season if the price was right.

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