Is this the offseason the Blue Jays finally pull the trigger on long-time outfield target?

The Blue Jays have reportedly once again expressed interest in signing Joc Pederson, but is the two-time All-Star someone they should still want to pursue?

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

It was almost a passing comment, made in an article unsurprisingly focused on Shohei Ohtani. In fact it didn't even warrant a complete sentence, but Sportsnet's Shi Davidi wrote: "They’ve re-kindled their every-time-available-interest in Joc Pederson..."

Given that the Blue Jays have apparently pursued Pederson multiple times before, this would indicate he's someone they think highly of. Certainly you can appreciate why, even if his appeal fades in comparison to the likes of Ohtani and Juan Soto (although this is effectively the case with virtually any other player.)

From a scouting report perspective, the two-time World Series champion has a lot of attributes you want in a player. He's powerful, athletic, versatile and knows what it takes to go all the way and claim the ultimate prize in Major League Baseball.

In respect of his versatility, Pederson saw playing time in left field, right field and at first base this past season. (He also played in center field for Israel in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.) However, the majority of his games saw him as the Giants' designated hitter, which is projected to be his prime position moving forward.

In this respect, you can make the case the left-handed bat wasn't quite as productive as recent seasons. Of particular note, he finished with 15 home runs and 51 RBI, which were his lowest respective totals in a full MLB season since 2017.

Further, while not terrible, Pederson's .235/.348/.416 slash line and .764 OPS don't exactly jump out at you (in fairness though, he did have one of his best offensive seasons just a year earlier). If it sounds like we're picking holes -- we're not, we're just being objective -- it's only because of how much it might cost to obtain him.

Consider that last season, the two-time All-Star had a base salary of $16.5M. Is he worth paying this kind of money to, even before taking into account you will conceivably be competing with higher offers from other teams in free agency?

Next. Cito Gaston falls well short in MLB Hall of Fame vote. Cito Gaston falls well short in MLB Hall of Fame vote. dark

This is not to say the Blue Jays shouldn't be pursuing Pederson, but you have to wonder if their interest is quite as enthusiastic as previous ocassions. Regardless, if indeed an offer is made, we suspect it will only be for one year, which could conceivably put him off once more, especially if he's looking for more security as he proceeds towards the twilight of his playing career.