Jun 18, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the tenth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox trade target: Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson is a formidable left-handed bat in the Dodgers system who has demonstrated excellent defensive skills, increasing batting average and developing power. Pederson is a borderline five tool player who plays the outfield.

Pederson was an 11th round draft choice by the Dodgers in 2010 and has made substantial progress within their system. Pederson was ranked as the 34th prospect by Baseball America after the completion of the 2013 season.

In 2013 playing for Double-A Chattanooga Pederson slashed .278/.381/.497 with 17 home runs and 58 RBI. Pederson also flashed his speed with 31 steals.

The now 22 year-old Pederson is playing for the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate at Albuquerque and has a slash line of .323/.438/.579 with 17 home runs and 42 RBI. Pederson has managed 19 stolen bases for 2014.

The Dodgers have an outfield logjam and discussion has centered on moving Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier – two players often mentioned in the Red Sox need for outfield offensive upgrades. I would pass on both and look for a prospect such as Pederson.

The Dodgers bullpen is ranked 13th in the National League. From traditional statistics to more advanced metrics the clear picture is this is one area of weakness that needs to be addressed.

What would it take to get Pederson?

Mar 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson (65) runs the bases against the San Diego Padres in the second inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I would start with the premier talent the Red Sox have in their bullpen – Koji Uehara. And I would expect a taste more for a talent such as Koji, who, I believe, could bring the Dodgers a playoff position and a great opportunity for a World Series title.

Uehara would stabilize the Dodgers bullpen and certainly go a significant distance in improving their 4-15 bullpen record that has an ERA above 4.00. But I would want more. For a Koji the price would be slightly higher.

Enter Scott Van Slyke.

Van Slyke is the son of former ML player Andy Van Slyke. Van Slyke is a right-handed outfielder-first baseman with a slash of .273/.418/.568 and six home runs and 11 RBI. Van Slyke, at age 27, could add a RH bat and depth for the Red Sox.

Trading a premier player for a prospect is a huge risk versus return proposition. Pederson is a minor league player and not tested at the ML level, so the Red Sox could end up with a ten-year starter or an unpleasant memory.

A proposal such as this also represents the white flag of surrender for the 2014 season and I doubt any deals for Koji would even be examined until late July. Any move would be entirely dependent upon how Sox management views the potential for a playoff position. Such a move would obviously be full fire sale mode and absolute insanity if the Sox were close to a playoff position.

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Tags: Joc Pederson Koji Uehara Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Willy

    Id be surprised if they traded Van Slyke as his father is or was a part of their coaching staff. The Dodgers would be complete idiots to trade Pederson, even for Koji (who by the way looks more human lately).

    • Rick M

      My feeling is this is the team that gave us Webster and Rubby for Nick Punto.

      • Willy

        Im not sure how we can break that trade down to “we got this guy for this guy” when youre dealing with several names. Fans want Pederson, I want him too but let’s be realistic…

        • Rick M

          Just relying on past history, Willy. LOL! Can always hope “Hunger” will drive Big Blue to extremes.

          • joe smith

            they also got Gonzalez which himself made it a good trade in addition to Beckett(who is playing very well this year) and Crawford(who was decent when not injured).

  • Joe Meehan

    I think it would be the other way around. Instead of the Dodgers throwing in someone else to make the deal sweeter, the Sox would have to throw in a lot more than Koji. As Sox fans, we love Koji, but he’s not equal to Pederson. They’re talking about Pederson as a potential centerpiece for a deal with a David Price-like talent. The Sox would really have to give up a lot to get him.

  • thomas rickard

    Yes the dodgers need bullpen help, but not at the expense of Joc, he appears to be the cf of the future, and that could be coming soon, they keep talking Price with Joc in the deal, but I think that is a Rays pipe dream, dodgers don’t need another starter.

  • joe smith

    wow seriously? trading a 39 year old for a 22 year old and 27 year old?no way the dodgers do that!!maybe if the Red sox throw in one or two of their top prospects. Koji has max 3 good years left

    • Rick M

      And how many years does Pederson have in the majors? Right now on Baseball America he is the 29th ranked prospect. Jackie Bradley in 2013 was the 28th ranked prospect. How has that worked out for Boston? Pederson has proven nothing aside from his minor league capabilities. Acquiring an unproven prospect is a substantial risk. Pure hit or miss.

      The point is would Koji be enough to win it all for the Dodgers? If management felt he would be then what is he worth? That is why in late July some players will attract some interesting prospects in return.