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Braves, Cubs' Updated Lineups, Payrolls After Joc Pederson Trade

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2021

Chicago Cubs' Joc Pederson during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves added some power to their lineup Thursday.

They announced they acquired outfielder Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for first base prospect Bryce Ball. While Pederson is not the caliber of player of Ronald Acuna Jr., he could help make up for some of the lost production after the star was ruled out for the season by a torn ACL.

Here's a look at potential updated lineups for each side.

                 

Braves

1. Joc Pederson RF

2. Freddie Freeman 1B

3. Ozzie Albies 2B

4. Austin Riley 3B

5. Orlando Arcia LF

6. Dansby Swanson SS

7. Guillermo Heredia CF

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8. Kevan Smith C

9. Pitcher

            

Cubs

1. Willson Contreras C

2. Kris Bryant RF

3. Anthony Rizzo 1B

4. Javier Baez SS

5. Patrick Wisdom LF

6. Nico Hoerner 2B

7. Ian Happ CF

8. Sergio Alcantara 3B

9. Pitcher

              

As for the payrolls, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported no money was swapped in the trade. That means the Braves will cover the remaining $3-plus million on Pederson's contract.

According to Spotrac, the Cubs' payroll will be approximately $152.7 million and the Braves will be approximately $144.2 million given that amount.

The first thing that jumps out about Pederson is his power. The 2015 All-Star hit 25 or more home runs four times in a five-year span from 2015 through 2019 and had 11 in 73 games for the Cubs this season.

His ability to drive the ball could help the Braves remain within striking distance in a winnable National League East. Despite their mediocre 44-45 record, they are still just four games behind the first-place New York Mets with the season's second half remaining.

As for the Cubs, this could be the first of many trades as they potentially shift into sell mode.

They stumbled into the All-Star break by losing 13 of 15 games, which dropped them back to third place in the National League Central and eight games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. What's more, key players in Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are all free agents after this season.

They would likely command more in a trade than Pederson did, and this could be the first of a number of moves prior to the trade deadline.

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