The Warriors and Cubs completed their first deadline deal of the season. Atlanta acquired outfielder Jock Pedersen from Chicago in exchange for minor league first baseman Bryce Ball.
The team announced the exchange on Thursday night.
Pedersen is transforming from a club staring at the mid-season dismantling to a club chasing division titles. Ball became part of the Cubs’ long-term plan.
Did the team reach a good agreement? SN rating swap:
Joc Pederson Trade Rank
After losing right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. two days before the All-Star Game and causing a torn anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the season, Atlanta needed to fill the vacancy in the field. The 29-year-old Pedersen will at least help when fighting a right-handed pitch. He has an OPS of 0.837 for right-handers and 0.593 for left-handers during his career. All of his 11 home runs this season have been hit by right-handers.
Pedersen can play all three outfield positions, but he has been almost on the left in the past two seasons. However, his performance in this position this year was far below average, with a defensive score of minus 4. Per sectorAtlanta started on the left in six of the last seven games before the break, Orlando Arcia, a converted shortstop. Abraham Almonte got most of the starting opportunities in this position, while Marcell Ozuna (finger fracture) was sidelined.
Atlanta has not really rented Pedersen. Pedersen has a joint option of $10 million in 2022 ($2.5 million buyout). According to reports, the Warriors will bear all his remaining salary this season, about 3 million U.S. dollars.
One question about this deal: Did the Braves ask about Kris Bryant, who is also expected to leave Chicago before the July 30 deadline and be a real tenant? The outfield is where he must play in Atlanta, and Austin Riley thrives as a full-time third baseman.
Chicago is selling after the June-July downturn damaged its playoff opportunities. It enters the rest of the season, with eight games in the top-ranked game in the National League and 7 1/2 games in the second wild card seat.
Pedersen was the first to expect multiple moves. The question now is: How motivated is General Manager Jed Hoyer in the next two weeks? He needs to decide whether to transfer players like Kobe, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel.
Hoyer’s first trade of the summer gave him a bleak outlook on the infield. Major League Baseball Pipeline Ranking 23-year-old Ball Ranked 12th among the Warriors’ top 30 prospects.
Ball showed a high level of strength (17 home runs in 62 games) after being selected by the Warriors in the 24th round at Dallas Baptist University two years ago. He also cut .329/.395/.628.
His performance in 2021 is much worse: in 53 games in the high singles of Roma, 0.207/.354/.396 slashes and 6 home runs. His strikeout rate is high (27.8%), but he has a good eye on 40 walks.
The Cubs can allow Ball to solve his batting problem among minors in the next few seasons.