Joc Pederson mentioned as a fit for Cardinals, and unlike Kyle Schwarber, is something that makes sense for St. Louis.
As the St. Louis Cardinals continue to search for offensive upgrades and depth, they have been connected to Colin Moran and Brad Miller. They have been speculatively linked as a fit to Kyle Schwarber, arguably the second best free-agent hitter on the market.
But could Joc Pederson be a fit?
Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors was asked about the Cardinals looking for a left-handed slugger – with Pederson being one possibility – and his response was: “Either would fit, especially on a team that will have a DH available. The Cards probably won’t want to detract from any playing time from their current outfield trio since they were all so good last year, but there’s nothing wrong with having a LH hitter.”
Polishuk is right. Pederson would be a very good fit on the Cardinals and unlike Schwarber, should be in their price range. He signed a one-year, $7 million deal last season with the Chicago Cubs – a contract that outplayed – and may be able to land a contract in the range of Eduardo Escobar’s two-year, $20 million deal.
Pederson, 29, would slot in as a prime designated hitter candidate, with the Cardinals aiming to keep Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader and Dylan Carlson as their primary outfielders. Adding his bat to the lineup, where he hit 18 home runs in 137 games, would give them another established hitter in the lineup. But he’d add another player with postseason experience, with Pederson logging 195 career playoff at-bats, and emerging as a hero in the Atlanta Braves’ World Series run.
Even if the Cardinals signed Pederson, they’d have financial flexibility to sign an impact reliever along the lines of Ryan Tepera or Joe Kelly. Would signing Pederson and one of those relievers be enough to make the Cardinals a legitimate World Series threat?
Maybe. But Pederson is a player that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak should consider, especially if MLB implements the universal DH.