For a second consecutive offseason, the White Sox are showing some interest in Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, writes USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Last winter’s talks between the two sides (obviously) didn’t lead to a deal, but the Sox and Dodgers have once again “engaged in preliminary trade talks” surrounding Pederson, per the report.
Chicago’s need for a right fielder is evident just by looking up and down the roster, and GM Rick Hahn has clearly indicated that right field could be an area of focus this winter. Pederson would provide a short-term option for the Sox in that regard, as he’s entering his final season of club control and is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $8.5MM in 2020.
Pederson, 28 next April, hit .249/.339/.538 in 514 plate appearances with the Dodgers in 2019, belting a career-high 36 home runs along the way (although any home run totals from 2019 should be taken with a grain of salt, given the juiced ball and leaguewide home run boom). Both OPS+ and wRC+ regarded Pederson as 27 percent better than a league-average hitter — the third time in the past four years that he’s been to 25 to 28 percent better than average in the estimation of those park- and league-adjusted metrics.