When the Los Angeles Dodgers initially were working to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price in a three-team trade with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, they additionally struck an agreement on a deal with the L.A. Angels.
The secondary trade called for the Dodgers to send Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling and Andy Pages to the Angels in exchange for Luis Rengifo and one or two Minor League players. The deal was contingent on the Dodgers first completing their trade with the Red Sox and Twins.
That of course never manifested, with L.A. instead orchestrating separate trades with Boston and Minnesota. That was followed by Angels owner Arte Moreno withdrawing his team from the agreement.
So Pederson and Stripling remained Dodgers and were among the players in camp at Camelback Ranch on Thursday for the start of Spring Training. And with Pederson still in the fold, manager Dave Roberts projected him to be part of a platoon with A.J. Pollock in left field, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
Roberts said Joc Pederson will likely play LF vs. RHP, sharing time with AJ Pollock.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 13, 2020
Pederson’s projected role for the 2020 season is hardly a surprise, considering it’s one he has filled for the Dodgers over multiple years now. The minor change only being that his playing time figures to primarily come in left field due to Cody Bellinger taking over in center and Betts manning right.
Last season, Pederson played 84 games in left field, 39 in right and two in center. All the while he largely remained limited to facing right-handed pitching, which Pederson batted .252/.349/.571 with 14 doubles and 36 home runs against.
Pollock also closed last season as part of a platoon, but his outlook one year after signing with the Dodgers has dramatically changed. When Pollock was introduced at Dodgers FanFest in 2019, president of baseball operations deemed him the team’s everyday center fielder.
Pollock’s season was interrupted by an elbow infection that required surgery, and he never regained his regular role in center field. The 32-year-old endured a rough finish to 2019, going hitless with 13 strikeouts in 14 at-bats over five postseason games (three starts).
“I feel like as an athlete, you have expectations in yourself and you go out there you and fail. I don’t have any excuses for it,” he said last month. “It was three games and I did horrible, I didn’t really contribute anything to the team, but it was three games.
“It’s kind of one of those things where you just get your butt kicked sometimes. You move on, and I’m really just looking forward to the next season. Hopefully we could get a lot of at-bats in the postseason, you have a bigger sample size and there will be a lot more opportunities to contribute.”
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