— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 16, 2021
The Cubs had signed Pederson to a one-year deal with an option for 2022 in the offseason.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers player has a .230/.300/.418 line over 256 at-bats, with 11 home runs in 73 games.
He is known for his power against right-handed pitchers, and while he is not a star, he should contribute in 2021.
Here are some takeaways from the trade.
3. The Braves Aren’t Giving Up
The Braves are 44-45, in third place of the National League East division.
However, they are actually not that far from first place, as the New York Mets’ four-game lead isn’t insurmountable.
Atlanta, however, is in a really bad place as they lost their best player, Ronald Acuña Jr., with a torn ACL.
Despite all these obstacles, the Braves aren’t giving up and will give it a shot in what remains of a difficult season.
The Cubs just loss 11 in a row and have a bunch of pending free agents. To not trade guys would be stupid. The Braves have a good young core and don't need to rebuild. And depending on next couple weeks, they might still have a good chance to win 4th straight division title.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) July 16, 2021
It will be hard, but the Braves can still make some noise, and Pederson will help in that regard.
2. They Added Some Serious Power
Pederson is no Acuña, and everybody is clear about that.
However, he does add a power element to the Braves’ lineup that could be useful.
Additionally, there is no player available on the market talented enough to replace Acuña.
Pederson’s career hasn’t been bad at all, and he does have 141 home runs to his name.
He does have a tendency to strike out and is best deployed as a righty masher, but the power upside can be useful for the Braves.
Pederson has hit at least 25 home runs four times in his career, and in one of them, he reached 36.
That 36-homer season came in 2019, just two years ago.
1. The Cubs Sale Could Be Legendary
The fact that the Cubs traded Pederson, who was signed to a one-year deal with an option for 2022 in the offseason, tells us a few things.
One, they aren’t likely to contend in 2022 as well.
They could, but if they are already dealing players that could help him next year, it will be significantly harder.
And two, they are likely to deal Craig Kimbrel, as well.
We knew that already, but the Pederson deals likely seals Kimbrel’s fate.
The high-leverage reliever is signed through this year but has a club option worth $16 million for 2022.
That’s a lot for a reliever, but his performance in 2021 (0.57 ERA) is inviting contending teams to invest.
The Cubs are on the record saying that they won’t rebuild, but it makes little sense for them to keep players with expiring deals that they won’t extend.
All of those players, plus Kimbrel, should be on new teams come July 31.