Could free agent Joc Pederson help the Seattle Mariners make the playoffs next year?
Joc Pederson just won a World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Seattle Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since the turn of the century. Pederson knows what it is like to play on a winning team and could help a young Mariners team learn how to win too.
Pederson is now a free agent and unlikely to stay with the Dodgers. Los Angeles simply has no room for Pederson in their outfield. While the Mariners have Kyle Lewis starting in center field and need help at right field and left field that help is unlikely to come from Pederson.
It simply doesn’t make sense for the Mariners to pay Pederson the money he will likely receive and want. Seattle’s stocked in the minors in the outfield and adding Pederson just clogs things up for a player who will likely be more productive in the future. These players include Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez to go along with Lewis.
Kelenic and Rodriquez and Lewis could – and probably should – form the starting outfield for the Mariners in 2021 and well beyond.
Why not Joc Pederson?
Joc Pederson is a decent outfielder but not much better than league-average. As a hitter, he struggled to hit for average (he has a career average of just .230). His career slash line is 230/336/470. What does this mean? It means Pederson can hit home runs but walks less than he should and strikeouts way too much.
Seattle needs players who can get on base. The Mariners were fourth-worst in OBP in 2020 at .309. Pederson was worse at .285 in 2020. Seattle was third-worst in on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) at .678. Pederson’s number was .681 this year.
To be fair, Pederson’s career numbers are better than he was specifically in 2020. But he still has a bad career batting average. He still produces too many meaningless at-bats by striking out in 25 percent of his career plate appearances (609 of 2,517).
Seattle’s pitching staff overall should be decent in 2021 but they need to score a lot more runs. Pederson was not-great on a loaded Dodgers team. He won’t help the Mariners win games and he shouldn’t be signed as a free agent in Seattle.