Could the Braves reunite with Joc Pederson before the trade deadline?

Braves

On July 15th of last year, the Braves made an early trade to save their season after Ronald Acuña Jr. went down with a torn ACL, acquiring Joc Pederson from the Cubs in exchange for Bryce Ball. At the time of the deal, it seemed highly unlikely the Braves would even make the playoffs, let alone win the World Series, but the energy Pederson brought to the clubhouse, and the entire city for that matter, completely flipped the script. He also provided some pretty legendary postseason moments.

Pederson’s short time in Atlanta couldn’t have gone any better, but for whatever reason, there didn’t seem to be much interest from either party in him returning for 2022. He opted out of his contract, the Braves signed Eddie Rosario, and Pederson headed to San Francisco on a very team-friendly one-year, $6 million contract. It’s hard to imagine the Braves didn’t even offer him that, so there had to be more to him leaving than just money.

Regardless, the Giants have benefited the most from it. Pederson was named a starter for the National League All-Star team after smashing 17 homers and recording an .872 OPS in 74 games. However, his success has not led to a ton of wins for the Giants.

The reigning NL West champions are spiraling out of playoff contention. Despite winning their last two games against the Padres, they remain two games back of the Phillies for the final Wild Card spot. With less than a month to go before the trade deadline, the Giants could very well be sellers come August, and nobody on their team will be more coveted than Pederson.

Everyone in baseball last year saw what Pederson could bring to an organization in need of a boost for the stretch run. I expect pretty much any team competing for a playoff spot to be calling the Giants about him if they do end up selling, and the Braves will be among them.

With Rosario back and looking more like the player the Braves acquired last season, the need for another outfielder isn’t nearly as great as it was a couple of weeks ago. However, when going up against the likes of the Dodgers and Astros in the postseason, a team can never have too many weapons. Pederson is used to a number of roles and has come through time and time again in October. Adding him to the mix would make arguably the best lineup in baseball even more potent.

The problem in this potential deal will be the prospect cost. As I said earlier, every competing team will be calling the Giants in an attempt to pry Pederson away. And even though he’s only on a one-year deal, the price could get pretty steep because of the number of bidders. I love the idea, and I’m not going to count it out, especially if the Braves suffer an injury of any kind to one of their outfielders. However, if nothing changes, it might not turn out to be worth the prospect capital to acquire Pederson.

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