Red Sox must avoid Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson is setting himself up for a nice pay day with his postseason heroics, hitting a robust .382/.417/.559 with two home runs. He has a history of performing in October with nine home runs in 63 career playoff games.
Power isn’t the problem for Pederson, who hit a career-high 36 homers last year. His run production potential doesn’t mask the reasons why he wouldn’t be a good fit for the Red Sox though.
Boston’s outfield is already heavy on left-handed hitters. A right-handed bat to replace Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t a requirement but one with Pederson’s wide platoon splits isn’t ideal. The batting average will never impress from someone who hit .190 this season but Pederson owns a strong .349 OBP and .501 SLG against right-handed pitching in his career. Unfortunately, he’s basically useless against lefties with a .266 OBP and .310 SLG.
Pederson is a platoon player who is a liability against lefties. The enviable depth of the Dodgers roster has allowed them to cover for that glaring weakness but the Red Sox don’t have that luxury. Signing Pederson means they’ll need to find a right-handed bat to pair with him.
While he’s played some center field in his career, Pederson is best suited for a corner outfield spot. That would require shifting either Andrew Benintendi or Alex Verdugo to center. Neither is a natural at the position and since Pederson is below-average anywhere you put him, the outfield defense would suffer a drastic decline.
If the Red Sox want a left-handed platoon bat for their outfield in this mid-tier price range, they would be better off sticking with Bradley Jr. for his defense.