Joc Pederson Heads Across Town to the Angels
The Los Angeles Angels reportedly acquired outfielder Joc Pederson from the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Twitter. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported the return shortly after.
Infielder Luis Rengifo is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal for outfielder Joc Pederson, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 5, 2020
For the Los Angeles Angels, this deal is an interesting one considering that the team’s number one prospect is outfielder Jo Adell. Adell is expected to play a pivotal role on the Angels 26-man roster this coming season. Now, with Pederson in the fold, it gives the Angels some more assurance regarding the future outlook of their outfield makeup.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, clearing Joc Pederson was a necessary move especially after the team reportedly acquired outfielder Mookie Betts along with starting pitcher David Price tonight. Betts will occupy right field on a full-time basis for the Dodgers which would essentially leave Pederson out of the mix. As things stand right now, Pederson was expected to be the Dodgers Opening Day right fielder.
Joc Pederson with the Angels
Presumably, the Los Angeles Angels will utilize Joc Pederson in right field with Mike Trout in center field and Justin Upton over in left field. That trio alone is a fairly intriguing one because it involves a blend of different skills. Upton is more of an offensive than a defensive player. Trout is easily the best player in baseball on both sides of the ball.
Meanwhile, Pederson could be a sneaky addition for a playoff hungry Angels team. Pederson is much better offensively than defensively according to metrics, but those metrics may very well improve in Angel Stadium. According to FanGraphs, Pederson rated with an 18.4 value offensively and a -3.7 value defensively.
At the plate, Pederson slugged: .249/.339/.558 over 514 plate appearances with 36 home runs and 74 RBI. Depending on where the Angels come July, Pederson could become a valuable trade chip especially if the aforementioned, Jo Adell is ready to be called up. Regardless, the Angels have a very deep and intriguing lineup.
Luis Rengifo Heads to the Dodgers
In return of Joc Pederson, the Los Angeles Dodgers received infield prospect Luis Rengifo. Rengifo, who is 22 years old, is originally from Venezuela. He appeared in 108 games for the Angels at the big league level last season.
Over that span, Rengifo slugged: .238/.321/.364 with 85 hits, 18 doubles, 3 triples, 7 home runs, 33 RBI, and 40 walks. Overall, Rengifo had a 1.6 Wins Above Replacement value and is primarily a second baseman and shortstop. For the Dodgers, it gives the team another intriguing depth piece for their infield.
Given the depth of the Dodgers roster, Rengifo might not break camp on the 26-man roster. However, should the Dodgers need help in the middle infield at some point this season, Rengifo could be an option. On paper, it wouldn’t appear that way given that the Dodgers starting second baseman is Gavin Lux. Meanwhile, Corey Seager will be the team’s starting shortstop with Justin Turner occupying the hot corner and Max Muncy at first base.
In the end, this deal wasn’t anywhere near as big as the blockbuster trade involving Mookie Betts and David Price. However, it is an intriguing one for the Los Angeles Angels and further enhances the depth of their lineup. If Pederson is able to replicate the numbers he put up from last season, this could be a steal of a deal. On the other hand, if Rengifo is able to become a solid utility man, then the Dodgers will have done well also. Only time will tell how this trade pans out for both sides.