Dodger fans woke up Friday morning to the news of another reigning World Champion team on his way out of Los Angeles. Just a season after his near-departure down the 5 freeway to the Angels, Joc Pederson has secured a spot playing left field on the North side of Chicago.
Joc Pederson is in agreement on a one-year, $7 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, sources tell ESPN. First with the agreement was @Ken_Rosenthal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 29, 2021
The deal sees the 28-year-old outfielder join a Cubs team looking to purge is current roster. Kyle Schwarber’s signing with the Washington Nationals opened up a spot in the daily line-up for Pederson, who played a platoon role during his time with the Dodgers. His ability to hold down the fort at first base adds value to the Cubs should they decide to trade Anthony Rizzo, or perhaps try out for the hot corner should a deal for Kris Bryant come to fruition.
Though his stat line does not show for it, Pederson provided great offensive upside, particularly when hitting lead-off. Fans will remember the multitude of lead-off home runs that came off Pederson’s bat. His productivity in the postseason was where he truly signed, coming up clutch in key moments during the team’s many playoff runs. He opened a total of 21 games with a lead-off home runs, breaking the National League record in 2019 (formerly held by the Houston Astros) for most lead off homers.
Chris Taylor looks to take over left field on a more consistent basis in the wake of Pederson’s departure.