Cubs Taken Aback by Joc Pederson Trade, Loss of 'His Vibe and Everything He Brought to Team'

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Cubs Insider 17 July, 2021 - 12:42pm 12 views

Who did the Braves trade for Joc Pederson?

The Cubs traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night in a deal for minor-league first baseman Bryce Ball. The move ends Pederson's half-season tenure with the organization after putting up a .230/.300/.418 line with 11 home runs, 11 doubles and 39 RBIs in 73 games. Chicago TribuneChicago Cubs trade Joc Pederson to Atlanta Braves

Who is Bryce ball?

Ball was selected by Atlanta in the 24th round of the 2019 Draft out of Dallas Baptist University. He has a .278 average with 30 doubles, one triple, 23 home runs, and 82 RBI in 115 minor league games. Ball began his pro career in 2019, and earned the Appalachian League Postseason All-Star Team honors. CBS ChicagoCubs Trade Joc Pederson To Atlanta Braves For Minor-Leaguer Bryce Ball

After a lot of fans (myself included) and national media members pinned the Braves as potential sellers at the trade deadline, they were the team that kicked off the festivities with a bang — and a solid move at that. I think Bryce Ball will be a great player, but he doesn’t fit Atlanta’s timeline right now, especially if the team extends Freddie Freeman. I think he could be Chicago’s first baseman of the future after Rizzo, but this article isn’t about them. Alex Anthopoulos has made moves like this before; some have paid off, some have not. Pederson has a mutual option for $10 million next season, but the Braves clearly made a win-now acquisition. So, I figured I’d break down some similar players on these shorter deals that Alex Anthopoulos could be interested in going into the trade deadline. I’ll be doing the National League next, so keep an eye out for that.

I think Schoop will be a very underrated piece that many teams will covet at the deadline, as he has had a fantastic 2021 after a slow start. He’s on a one-year, $4.5 million deal, and he should pay dividends for Detroit in a trade. The Braves struck a deal for Shane Greene two trade deadlines ago, so could they go back to the well with the Tigers? A Curacao native like Ozzie Albies, Schoop could be the perfect bench bat for the Braves. He has clubbed 16 home runs and is hitting .312 over the past month. The only problem is, losing those consistent at-bats may cool him off significantly. The Braves can’t afford to overpay for a rental like that.

Soto is a bit of an exception to the contract requirement of this article, but I’ll make an exception since I think he could be a fit. The Braves acquired an All-Star relief pitcher from Detroit in Shane Greene a couple of years ago. Soto, like Greene, was never a lockdown relief arm before 2021. He’s not exactly infallible now either, posting a 3.00 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP. However, he’s still an upgrade over what the Braves currently have. The price would have to be right.

I thought about including Merrifield’s teammate Salvador Perez here, but he just signed a massive extension to stay in Kansas City. Merrifield is on one of the best contracts in all of baseball, but his versatility and well-rounded play is why I have him targeted here. Merrifield has been a popular trade target among Braves fans, and I still think he makes sense. He would bring a lot of consistency to this Atlanta lineup.

I talked about trading for Benintendi before the Royals acquired him from the Red Sox, and with Marcell Ozuna absent for the foreseeable future, I think the trade makes even more sense now. Benintendi has one more season of team control, and he’s posting a .762 OPS with ten bombs and seven steals.

Solak has been slumping lately, but he has a bit of pop in his bat and can play all over the field. I think he would be a great bench piece for the Braves, especially if they can get him at a decent price. Solak is pre-arbitration, so he makes a lot of sense.

Once a mid-rotation starter, Ian Kennedy has revived his career as a shutdown relief arm. He has pitched 30.1 innings in 2021 recording a 2.67 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. In 30 appearances, he has 15 saves and has blown just one. Kennedy is only on a one-year deal, so he would be a true rental.

Gibson has had a pretty average career up to this point, but he has been fantastic in 2021. Over 17 starts, Gibson is 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Gibson has one more year of control at a reasonable price — $7,000,000. He could be a solid piece of the rotation that can eat innings if he can keep up what he has done so far.

Rogers is another guy with one more year of control beyond 2021, but he has been considered at times to be one of the best lefty relievers in all of baseball. He has gotten roughed up over the past month, especially the last week, but he would instantly be an impact arm for this Braves bullpen.

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Samson: Why the Cubs aren't necessarily having a fire sale despite the Joc Pederson trade

CBS Sports 17 July, 2021 - 04:01pm

Right before the All-Star break, the Atlanta Braves lost star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to a torn ACL that will sideline him for the remainder of the season. With Acuña out of the lineup, the Braves went out and acquired outfielder Joc Pederson in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

During Friday's installment of "Nothing Personal with David Samson," David Samson explained why the Pederson deal doesn't necessarily mean that the Cubs are having a fire sale at the trade deadline.

"'Oh, you're trading Joc Pederson? The Cubs are open for business.' That's not really how it works. The Cubs aren't going to give Kris Bryant away. I would trade Kris Bryant because I know I'm not going to re-sign him. The Cubs are very unlikely to re-sign Bryant because of what he's going to ask for with his agent being Scott Boras. What will be interesting to me is if someone offers the Cubs enough to get them to move Bryant. I'm only moving Kris Bryant if I get back not just money, but save money and get players. And I'm not sure if Kris Bryant will get that in the marketplace."

Kris Bryant is scheduled to be a free agent following the 2021 season and he's arguably the Cubs' most valuable asset at the trade deadline. Chicago could chose to move Bryant at the deadline if the team receives a decent trade package in exchange for his services. The team could also yield offers for first baseman Anthony Rizzo and shortstop Javier Baez, who are also set to be free agents after this season.

However, Samson simply believes that the Cubs aren't going to give a player of Bryant's caliber away for pennies on the dollar just because he's going to be a free agent.

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