A quiet start to the offseason ended up being a hectic one for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who swung one of the biggest trades at the start of February by acquiring Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox.
The initial structure of the blockbuster had many moving parts, as the Minnesota Twins were also involved. Minnesota was expected to receive Kenta Maeda from the Dodgers, and in turn, would trade pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox.
A separate trade between the Dodgers and L.A. Angels was also contingent on the completion of the three-team deal. Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling were on the verge of heading down the 5 freeway to Anaheim in exchange for Luis Rengifo.
The original three-team trade eventually fell apart over a medical concern involving Graterol, and so too did the proposed Dodgers-Angels swap. The hard-throwing right-hander eventually found his way to L.A. in a separate trade with the Twins.
Pederson recently detailed the busy week, which also involved an arbitration hearing that would determine his 2020 salary. He was particularly frustrated that it wasn’t postponed until his non-trade to the Angels was sorted out, via Pedro Moura of The Athletic:
“The frustrating part of the arbitration was not the result,” Pederson said. “The frustrating part is that I was traded — well, not traded. I was unofficially officially traded like 12 hours before that and had received all those text messages.”
“I played in the big leagues for five years,” Pederson said. “I kind of worked hard for something. It’s a big day. For them not to consider that a unique situation when it’s never happened before, it’s kind of frustrating.”
“One of them asked, like, ‘Well, are we going to be going against the Angels or the Dodgers?’” Pederson said. “It’s like, ‘Come on, it’s starting in five (minutes).’ That shouldn’t be a question that is being discussed. A postponement would’ve been nice.”
While Pederson doesn’t agree with the outcome, he hopes the arbitration process is addressed in CBA talks between the MLB and MLBPA:
“I think we all need to kind of come together, and I think we are together, with a group that needs to be better,” he said. “Our last collective bargaining (agreement) was not benefiting the players, I guess you could say. All those things are being addressed, and have been addressed. They’ll be handled accordingly.”
Pederson reportedly asked for his arbitration hearing to be delayed, but it was to no avail. He ultimately lost his case against the Dodgers and will receive a $7.75 million salary this season as opposed to the $9.5 million figure originally requested.
Still on the verge of reaching free agency this winter, it’s hardly a guarantee Pederson will remain with the Dodgers for the entire 2020 season. He figures to receive the majority of his at-bats against right-handed pitching as part of a platoon in left field with AJ Pollock.
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