2. Joc Pederson
Pearls before swine, baby.
Joctober fell off a little bit, especially as the calendar turned to NovembSoler, but Joc Pederson is still exactly what you think he is: a wine-swilling, dinger-mashing rotational outfield option who can help loosen a clubhouse and perform when the lights are bright.
He’s also someone we told the Yankees to sign like a hundred times this year. They never listened, the team that got him (and other interesting small parts) won the World Series. It is what it is. “CashGod,” etc.
Truth be told, Pederson didn’t notch an OPS+ over 100 in either of his stops this season in Chicago and Atlanta, but he approached average play and supplemented it with a flair for the dramatic and an exciting personality. Even “average” would’ve been exciting for the Yankees, though, who were below that line almost everywhere and played Tyler Wade in the outfield repeatedly while starting fourth outfielder Brett Gardner, like, 120 times. And Jonathan Davis! And Ryan LaMarre! Yup, sounds like a complete bench to us. No wiggle room there.
Pederson’s the same player he’s always been. High ceiling, somewhat worrisome low floor, but the propensity to boom from the left side of the plate. He probably won’t be getting any more than two years on this winter’s deal, and as they should’ve been last offseason and at the deadline, the Yankees should be all over it.
Especially since there might be a larger supply of Anthony Rizzo’s bats in the Bronx.