The Braves and Cubs accomplished what may be thought of the primary deadline commerce this season. Atlanta acquired outfielder Joc Pederson from Chicago for minor league first baseman Bryce Ball.
The groups introduced the swap Thursday night time.
Pederson goes from a membership observing a midseason teardown to a membership chasing a division title. Ball turns into part of the Cubs’ long-term plans.
Did the groups make deal? SN grades the swap:
Joc Pederson commerce grades
Atlanta wanted to fill a gap within the outfield after shedding proper fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to a season-ending ACL tear two days earlier than the All-Star break. Pederson, 29, will at the least supply assist in opposition to right-handed pitching. He has a profession .837 OPS in opposition to right-handers to simply .593 in opposition to left-handers. All 11 of his dwelling runs this season have been hit in opposition to right-handers.
Pederson can play all three outfield positions, however he has spent virtually the entire previous two seasons in left discipline. He has been properly under common on the place this yr, nevertheless, with minus-4 defensive runs saved, per Fangraphs. Atlanta began Orlando Arcia, a transformed shortstop, in left in six of its final seven video games earlier than the break. Abraham Almonte has acquired the majority of the begins on the place whereas Marcell Ozuna (damaged fingers) has been sidelined.
Atlanta didn’t get a real rental in Pederson, who has a $10 million mutual possibility ($2.5 million buyout) for 2022. The Braves reportedly are taking over all of his remaining wage this season, about $3 million.
One query about this deal: Did the Braves inquire about Kris Bryant, who is anticipated to additionally depart Chicago earlier than the July 30 deadline and could be a real rental? Outfield is the place he’d must play in Atlanta with Austin Riley flourishing because the full-time third baseman.
Chicago is promoting after a June-July swoon broken its playoff probabilities. It enters the post-break portion of the season eight video games out of first place within the Nationwide League Central and seven 1/2 video games out of the second wild-card berth.
Pederson is the primary of what’s anticipated to be a number of strikes. The query now could be: How lively will common supervisor Jed Hoyer be within the subsequent two weeks? He must resolve whether or not to maneuver such gamers as Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel.
Hoyer’s first deal of the summer season netted him a slugging infield prospect. MLB Pipeline ranked the 23-year-old Ball twelfth among the many Braves’ prime 30 prospects.
Ball displayed high-level energy (17 dwelling runs in 62 video games) two years in the past after being drafted by the Braves within the twenty fourth spherical out of Dallas Baptist College. He additionally slashed .329/.395/.628.
He has been a lot worse in 2021: a .207/.354/.396 slash line and 6 dwelling runs in 53 video games for top Single-A Rome. His strikeout fee is excessive (27.8 %), however he has proven a good eye with 40 walks.
The Cubs can let Ball work out his hitting points over the subsequent couple seasons within the minors.