With their regular centerfielder on the shelf for half the season, the New York Yankees have a hole. Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers is available again and the Bombers must pounce.
The New York Yankees will be without their centerfielder Aaron Hicks at a minimum through June, as he recovers from Tommy John Surgery. While Brett Gardner isn’t a bad option to play center for the Bombers, at almost 37-years-old, his best position is left. Dodgers centerfielder Joc Peterson is once again on the market and would be a great fit in pinstripes.
One of the byproducts of the original Mookie Betts to the Dodgers trade was that L.A. had to make a second deal to balance out roster space and stay within their salary constraints. They traded away their centerfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels. After the Betts trade was redone, over the weekend, L.A.D. was unable to complete the Pederson deal. According to reports, the lefty power hitter is on the trade block again.
There are a few reasons why Pederson is an ideal replacement. No one will confuse him with Rod Carew, because Pederson never hit above .250 in the majors. What he does bring to the table is a much-needed lefty power bat. Pederson hit 31 home runs last season and over the past four seasons, he has a .499 slugging percentage. Imagine what he could do with the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium.
What the New York Yankees would have to send back is negligible judging by the original trade. Middle infielder Luis Rengifo was the key player Los Angeles was getting back from the Angels.
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Rengifo hit .239 his rookie season and was the team’s 10th ranked prospect of 2018 by Major League Pipeline. The Yankees could easily send infielders Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada along with one of their many top pitching prospects (not named Deivi Garcia, or Jasson Dominguez).
The Yankees are already well over the salary cap and they don’t care. They can well afford to take on the $7.5M Pederson will earn in 2020. They also have the financial wherewithal to pick up the other player Los Angeles was moving in the deal, relief pitcher Ross Stripling.
Finally, Peterson is a free agent after the season, so this is his contract year. He’ll be motivated to put on a good show.
What do you think about the Yankees trading for Joc Pederson? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.