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.
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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.