Atlanta Braves Acquire Joc Pederson From Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves for minor league first baseman Bryce Ball. Both teams announced the trade Thursday evening.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 16, 2021
The trade is a tell-tale sign for both teams and signals each franchise’s planned direction. The Cubs are officially sellers as we inch closer to the July 30 trade deadline. The Cubs have lost 19 of their last 25 games to fall out of the NL Central race. Chicago held on to hopes of remaining competitive, but their current 11-game losing streak dashed any dreams of a potential playoff berth.
Another reason Chicago is selling is that they have many soon-to-be free agents on their roster. Superstar trio Kris Bryant, Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo are among those who will become free agents after this season. Kyle Davies and Craig Kimbrel are also likely to be moved from the team. Chicago will look to hammer out a contract extension for Baez and Rizzo. If that fails, the organization may elect to look for a trade partner.
while Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel and other Cubs are on the block, there are signs the Cubs will try to lock up Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo before talking trades for them @MLBNetwork
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 16, 2021
The move bolsters the Braves’ push to make the playoffs. Entering the second half of the season, the Braves are only four games behind the first-place New York Mets in the National League East and just a game under .500. However, a few significant injuries have hampered their playoff hopes. Superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL recently. Pederson will be a welcomed addition to the outfield in the wake of Acuna’s injury.
Pederson is batting .230 with 59 hits, 39 RBIs and 11 home runs. The outfielder also has a .718 OPS in the 73 games played for the Cubs this season.
Pederson signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal that included a $10 million mutual option and $2.5-million buyout. The outfielder is still owed $2.2 million of his $4.5-million salary this season. He’ll be paid another $2.5 million if the Braves decline his $10 million mutual option after the season.