When it comes to the offseason, the White Sox seem to be the center of attention as of late. Two years ago, Rick Hahn traded for both Jeff Samardzija and Brett Lawrie in hopes to push the team to the playoffs. We all know how that went. And then last December, the White Sox dominated Winter Meetings when they traded both Chris Sale and Adam Eaton. In short, Rick Hahn has been known to be aggressive in the offseason. However, with only a few legitimate assets remaining, many see the White Sox as having a quieter winter this time around. A bullpen arm, back-end starter, and maybe a utility man was the general consensus in terms of who Hahn would target. However, one outfielder currently on the Dodgers might be worth a much longer look.
The name? Joc Pederson
Pederson is still just 25-years-old and was 6th in N.L. Rookie of the Year voting in 2015. He was also an All-Star that same year. Since then though, he has dropped off the map. Last year he batted .246 but was able to add 25 home runs and 68 RBI’s. This season he only appeared in 102 regular season games and he hit just .212 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI’s. He is currently up for arbitration at the end of this season so there is no guarantee he will even be available. The Dodgers could decide to give him another contract or let him walk if they see fit. If that is the case, he could be an interesting target for Rick Hahn. Here’s why:
Because of his drop off in both usage and production the past two seasons, there is no reason to believe that Pederson would be expensive for a team to sign. And again, with him being still just 25-years-old, he would fit in nicely with the White Sox young core of players.
If Pederson were to come to the White Sox, manager Ricky Renteria would have a variety of options to play with. He could stick Pederson in left field, put Delmonico at DH, and then put Yolmer Sanchez at third base. He could also put Pederson in center field, and keep Adam Engel as a defensive replacement option in late-game situations. Finally, he could put Pederson at DH, keep the outfield as is, and use either Yolmer Sanchez or Tyler Saladino at third base. The effect of bringing in Pederson would have a ripple effect throughout the entire lineup.
Change In Scenery
Playing in L.A. probably puts a lot of pressure on almost every athlete. Especially a team with a history as storied as the Dodgers. If Pederson came to the White Sox, he could play much looser and with a younger core that he can relate to. There is virtually no pressure for the White Sox to be good next season anyways. Pederson could use the year to adjust to his new surroundings, rediscover himself, and most importantly- have fun.
This is the type of low-risk, high-reward move that could really push the White Sox in a positive direction. Again, we won’t know anything more on the matter until the World Series ends and the Dodgers make up their mind on what to do with Pederson. Until then, it’s at least a solid option to consider if he becomes available.