Joc Pederson Traded to Braves from Cubs After Ronald Acuna's ACL Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2021

Chicago Cubs' Joc Pederson plays against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a baseball game, Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Chicago Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson was traded to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday in exchange for first baseman Bryce Ball.

The 29-year-old spent the first seven years of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning a title with the team in 2020. He struggled immensely during the regular season, though, hitting just .190 in 43 games with seven homers and 16 RBI. 

While Pederson has never hit for a great average—he's a career .230 hitter—it was a disappointing season after his career year in 2019 (.249 with 36 homers and 74 RBI). Going into last year, he had posted 25 or more homers in four of the previous five seasons, and he was on pace for 18 homers in a 162-game season in 2020.

The Cubs were hoping to get the 2019 version of Pederson, signing him to a one-year, $7 million deal this offseason. The deal has a mutual 2022 option for $10 million with a $2.5 million buyout. 

While his season doesn't appear likely to come anywhere close to 2019's heights—he's hitting .230 with 11 homers and 39 RBI—he's been better than last year. The Cubs struggled heading into the All-Star break and decided to move on as they potentially look toward something of a rebuild in the coming seasons.

As for the Braves, they now have more power in their outfield after losing Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season to a torn ACL.