Baseball fans knew the San Francisco Giants had money to spend, but nobody thought they’d be throwing it around like it’s nothing! Colossal contracts for guys like New York Yankees star Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Dodgers speedster Trea Turner would make sense. Even an over-the-top commitment to Jacob deGrom is something fans could’ve seen coming.
But a one-year, $19.65 million offer for Joc Pederson? Has Farhan Zaidi gone mad? What kind of offseason strategy is this?
Thursday was the deadline for teams to submit the Qualifying Offer to players of their choosing. There weren’t many surprises. Judge, Turner, deGrom, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson and others all received it.
The Giants announcement came as a partial shock. Giving one to starter Carlos Rodon was a no-brainer. As for Pederson, someone who’s earned a grand total of $25 million since debuting in 2014? Seems misguided.
Pederson was expected to have wide-ranging interest in free agency and likely fetch a multi-year contract, but nothing close to this salary. Either the Giants had a sick and twisted desire to receive draft pick compensation in return for the veteran slugger, or they’re really able to stomach paying someone who’s had a 0.9 WAR since the start of 2020 almost $20 million for ONE year.
The Giants pretty much just screwed the Yankees out of Joc Pederson
Even Giants beat writers were taken aback by the decision. It’s not a knock on Pederson whatsoever. His value as an offensive threat is undeniable, and he just had a career year at the plate from an all-around standpoint (.274/.353/.521 with 57 runs scored, 23 homers, 70 RBI and a 144 OPS+).
But he’s playing 81 games in a pitcher-friendly environment at Oracle Park. And he’s a poor defender (-4.8 dWAR for his career). The Giants are really going to pay almost $20 million for one year of a above-average DH whose power will be severely limited?
To each his own, we suppose. That one-year, $19.65 million deal is something Pederson isn’t going to turn down since he likely wasn’t getting anything more than $10 million AAV on a two- or three-year contract. And the Yankees aren’t going to pursue him as their potential next left fielder if they have to give up a compensatory draft pick in the process.
It’s just wild that a team like the Giants, who had one fluke year in 2021 and remain far out of contention in a competitive NL landscape, has decided to spend their money in this manner and affect the Yankees’ free agency bidding with one, silly move.