The Chicago Cubs have signed erstwhile Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson to a one-year deal worth $7 million. This is, as all these things are, pending a physical.
What the Cubs have managed to do is to replace Kyle Schwarber with…Kyle Schwarber. But while Schwarber is getting $10 million to ply his trade in the nation’s capital, the Cubs have managed to save $3 million for what is essentially the same guy.
You think I’m kidding?
There are a few differences. Pederson has a little less strike three and a little less ball four in his offensive approach. But 2020 was his only bad year. It shouldn’t be unreasonable to expect him to bounce back to have another year around 3 WAR.
But he, like Schwarber, doesn’t really address the Cubs’ most pressing offensive needs. They need to put more balls in play, and they need to solve lefthanded pitching. Pederson does nothing to help on either.
But hey, at least the Cubs finally have a starting outfield with Pederson, Ian Happ and Jason Heyward. And they’ve got another bat capable of 30 home runs. And maybe he and Kris Bryant can relive their rookie year appearances in the All-Star home run derby.
Overall, there’s really not much to hate here – the Cubs basically got a guy for $3 million less than Washington paid for the same guy. And it’s only a one year deal (the Cubs have an option for 2022), so they’re not stuck.