Free Agent Profile: Joc Pederson is a rebound candidate after a down year with the Giants

Ryley Delaney
8 months ago
After accepting a qualifying offer last winter, this lefty slugger is back on the open market.
This is a free agent profile, where we take a look at the players on the open market this winter and whether or not they would be fits for the Blue Jays. In this article, we’re going to take a look at two-time All-Star and two-time World Series Champion Joc Pederson.

Joc Pederson’s 2023:

The 2023 season wasn’t Joc Pederson’s best. After accepting a qualifying offer from the San Francisco Giants, Pederson preceded to slash .235/.348/.416 with 15 homers in 425 plate appearances, along with a 13.4 BB% (second highest with over 100 plate appearances), and a 20.9 K%. All in all, this was a 111 wRC+, still well above average, but a significant drop off from the season before.
Pederson earned that qualifying offer because he slashed .274/.353/.521 with 23 homers and a 9.7 BB% and 23.1 K% in 433 plate appearances in 2022. This gave him his highest wRC+ in his career at 146.
For his entire career, Pederson has slashed .237/.336/.464 with 186 homers in 3856 plate appearances. He also has an 11.5 BB% and a 23.7 K%, which is quite surprising as he had a 29.1 K% in his first full season and a 27.3 K% in his sophomore season.

Joc Pederson’s contract:

Pederson accepted the qualifying offer the Giants extended him after the 2022 season worth $19.65 million. After a season where he had a 111 wRC+, it’s all but a guarantee that Pederson’s next contract will come at an annual value well below that number. 
Unfortunately, neither Jim Bowden’s The Athletic prediction article nor MLB Trade Rumors give an estimate as to what he’ll make in 2024, as Pederson isn’t among this winter’s top free agents. Predicting his contract is quite challenging, as there’s much more than how he performed in 2023.
For context, Jurickson Profar had a 111 wRC+ after the 2022 season, but didn’t have the same success in his career that Pederson has. He ended up signing a one-year deal with the Rockies worth $7.75 million, but was later released due to poor performance. I’d imagine, due to Pederson’s track record and a weaker free agency, that the lefty slugger will probably earn a two or three-year deal at about $10 million to $13 million a season.

Is Joc Pederson a fit for the Blue Jays?

The Blue Jays need another left-handed batting power bat, but it would also be ideal if they can find that hitter who can also play either third base or left field. Pederson only played 204 innings in the outfield last season and posted  -5 Defensive Runs Saved and -4 Outs Above Average in that short time. In reality, Pederson is more of a designated hitter at this point.
Pederson isn’t a bad option for the Jays in the small confines of Rogers Centre and in fact, Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet suggested that he could be an option for the Jays. However, there are better designated hitting options and better left-handed batting outfielders.
If he remains unsigned when the calendar flips to 2024, there’d be a lot more of a chance the Jays look into him, but as of now, they’re better served looking elsewhere for more multi-dimensional players. 


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