Cincinnati Reds: Could Joc Pederson join the team?

The Los Dodgers appear to be making a bid for Bryce Harper. In their quest to do so, it appears Joc Pederson is up for grabs. The Cincinnati Reds should be first in line to snag the slugger.

According to Bob Nightengale, the Los Angeles Dodgers appear to be lining up to make a run at Bryce Harper. The Dodgers have a crowded outfield and appear willing to move players like Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig. If that’s the case, their should be no hesitation on the part of the Cincinnati Reds to bring Pederson with them back East when they leave Las Vegas.

Joc Pederson checks so many boxes in regards to what the Reds are looking for, it’s ridiculous. Left-handed hitter? Check. Power bat for the lineup? Check? Quality center fielder? He’s not on the defensive level of Billy Hamilton, but check. This is a no-brainer for the Reds.

Pederson played in 148 games for the Dodgers last season and made 395 at-bats. His average was nothing special at .248, but Pederson had an OPS of .843 and an OPS+ of 125. The former All-Star launched 25 homers last season and had 56 RBIs for the National League Champions.

Even better, Pederson is under team control through the 2020 season. He’s projected to make $4.3 million next season via MLB Trade Rumors, which is just a little less than what Hamilton made last season. The timing would work out perfect for when Taylor Trammell is likely MLB-ready, and by that time the Reds should have a good understanding of what they have or don’t have Pederson.

With former Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star Corey Seager returning to the Dodgers’ lineup next season, NLCS MVP Chris Taylor is likely to be pushed back to the outfield. The Dodgers still have Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and Kiké Hernandez, plus it sounds like they are going to make a go at Harper.

Now is the perfect time for the Cincinnati Reds to swoop in a snag a quality outfielder who could probably hit 30-plus homers in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. So, what might the Dodgers want in return?

The Dodgers are likely motivated to make a deal, so a top 25 pitching prospect from the Reds’ farm system could be enough. Maybe Scott Moss or Jacob Heatherly? If need be, the Reds have other prospects like Michael Beltre or Jose Isreal Garcia, whom they could throw in to close the deal.

Regardless, so long as the Dodgers aren’t looking for a Top 10 prospect in the Reds pipeline, Cincinnati needs to get this deal done. Every Cincinnati Reds fan is expecting the team to leave Vegas with pitching help, but adding an outfielder like Joc Pederson would be just fine by me.