Regardless of which direction the Cleveland Indians decide to go this offseason, they should take a close look at taking a flyer on former All-Star Joc Pederson.
The Indians outfield was a disaster in 2020. Delino DeShields Jr. had the best batting average of any Cleveland outfielder at just .252, while Tyler Naquin led Indians’ outfielders in home runs with just four.
Thus, even if just on a one-year deal, Cleveland must upgrade and the name they should target immediately is Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pederson has been with the Dodgers his entire seven-year career and is a career .230 hitter with 130 home runs and 303 RBI’s.
After playing just 18 games in 2014, he was named an All-Star as a rookie in 2015 after smacking 26 home runs. He’s gone on to help the Dodgers reach the World Series three-times and entered Saturday’s World Series Game 4 a career .259 hitter postseason hitter with eight home runs in 61 postseason games.
At 29-years old, however, Pederson is set to hit the free-agent market and is unlikely to return to the Dodgers as the team signed Mookie Betts to a 12-year extension and even attempted trading Pederson to the Angels before the season, but the deal fell through.
In 2020, Pederson slashed just .190/.285/.397 with seven home runs and 16 RBI’s. Thus, he is likely only going to get a one-year deal on the free-agent market.
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This would be a wise investment for the Indians to make as they can add a much-needed power bat in the outfield, add a veteran with a winning pedigree and even have a big-name trade chip if the team struggles and Pederson is able to find his all-star form.