Pederson had a mutual option for 2022, which would have paid him $10 million. Now, he will roll the dice and hit unrestricted free agency, hoping for a little more, and it’s not totally unexpected after his October heroics that propelled the Braves to their first World Series title since 1995. However, I thought there was a good chance both sides would decide to opt-in for one more ride.
The fact that they aren’t makes me much more pessimistic about the Braves keeping Pederson. He was invaluable to the clubhouse, but that was a clubhouse that was down in the dumps because of injuries and other unfortunate events that occurred during the season.
If Pederson is looking for more than $10 million in free agency, I have a hard time seeing the Braves giving it to him. He also might be eyeing a more permanent home and somewhere where he can play everyday — two things the Braves probably won’t guarantee.
I think about all of Braves Country has embraced Joc Pederson as much as they possibly could a player that was only around for a few months. He will always be a legend in Atlanta, but his decision to opt out very well could mean his time as a Brave is over.