Another Blue Jays target off the board as slugger Joc Pederson signs with Diamondbacks

Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
The designated hitter market is really getting moving now.
According to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed Joc Pederson.
Pederson most recently played for the San Francisco Giants, where he slashed .235/.348/.416 with 15 home runs in 425 plate appearances for a 111 wRC+. The 31-year-old’s 13.4 BB% was the highest he’s had since 2015, while his 20.9 K% was the lowest he had since 2018.
The designated hitter moved to the role in 2023 after playing 779 innings in the outfield and posting -15 Defensive Runs Saved and -11 Outs Above Average. He’s not a full-time designated hitter yet, as Pederson played 204 innings in the outfield with -5 DRS and -4 OAA.
Still, the 2022 season was Pederson’s best ever with the bat. He slashed .274/.353/.521 with 23 home runs, along with a 9.7 BB% and a 23.1 K% in 433 plate appearances. His wRC+ of 146 wRC+ was the highest of his career, while his 2.1 fWAR was the fourth-highest of his career.
As you may know, the Blue Jays have a need for a designated hitter, and Pederson being signed is just one less player for Toronto to go after. They’ve been repeatedly linked to Pederson, as he’s one of only a few designated hitters that bats left-handed. Two others that fit this mold: former Blue Jay in Brandon Belt, as well as Canadian Joey Votto.
On top of reportedly being interested in Pederson, the Blue Jays are seen as the front runner for Jorge Soler. It’s also worth mentioning that the Diamondbacks had interest in Soler and were seen as the only other contender for him, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray (and aggregated from the wonderful Damon or @Vars0AA on Twitter).
Soler seems like a much better option than Pederson to begin with, as the former had the second-most home runs out of any free agent in 2023, only behind Shohei Ohtani. While Soler has battled consistency issues in the past, he remains the best fit for the Jays.
It’ll be interesting to see the dominos fall, and hopefully it happens soon as this has been a very slow off-season.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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