The Colorado Rockies have been linked to free agents Kris Bryant, Michael Conforto, Kyle Schwarber, and others recently. One other name that has come to the forefront of potential targets on Tuesday is free agent outfielder Joc Pederson.
Joc Pederson is “surfacing” as a target for the Colorado Rockies
According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, free agent outfielder Joc Pederson is surfacing as a free agent target for the Colorado Rockies.
Three weeks ago, Pederson was on our list of six more realistic free agent bats for the Rockies outside of Bryant, Conforto, Schwarber, and Nick Castellanos.
Of the six outfielders we mentioned, Pederson had the least amount of success in 2021, when he split the season between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves.
In 137 games, he hit .238/.310/.422 with 18 homers, 61 RBI, and an OPS+ of 93. Defensively, he was not good as he had -6 DRS so his overall rWAR was -0.1 rWAR. In 2020 for the Dodgers, Pederson only hit .190/.285/.387 with seven homers and 16 RBI. He had an OPS+ of 83 and an rWAR of -0.3 in 47 games.
If the Rockies signed him, they would be looking for the production that he had in 2018 and 2019.
In 2018 and 2019, Pederson played in 148 and 149 games and he had an OPS+ of 125 and 126. He had 25 and 36 homers in the two seasons and his slugging percentages were .522 and .538. The only Rockies player with more than 50 plate appearances that had a slugging percentage over .500 in 2021 was first baseman C.J. Cron, who had a slugging percentage of .530.
Because of his recent struggles, Pederson would likely be able to get a deal for roughly around what the Rockies signed José Iglesias signed for (one-year, $5 million) so he would be the cheapest among the outfielders that the Rockies have been linked to.
However, for the Rockies to have a semi-competitive team in 2022, they will need more than Pederson. Ideally, Pederson would be a fourth outfielder who could be an outfielder or DH for three or four days of the week and be on the bench for the rest of the time.
But he might come to the Rockies to get more playing time and to regain his stroke at the plate in the thin air of Coors Field. Then, perhaps, the Rockies could flip him at the trade deadline.