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Braves acquire slugger Joc Pederson from Cubs

MLB trade season appears to be on the horizon and this deal is notable after the Ronald Acuna Jr. injury.

Joc Pederson of the Chicago Cubs reacts after his fly out during the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on July 08, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves kicked off trade deadline season by acquiring OF Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for 1B Bryce Ball. The Braves lost All-Star OF Ronald Acuna Jr. to a torn ACL prior to the All-Star Break and were in need of a body to fill that void on the depth chart. Acuna primarily playe RF and Pederson plays LF, though we could see some movement in the outfield from Atlanta in the second half.

You could also argue the Braves were in need of a power lefty bat. Other than Freddie Freeman, the Braves are pretty heavily right-handed, though Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Ehire Adrianza and Pablo Sandoval are all switch-hitters. Pederson is batting .230 with 11 HRs and 39 RBI over 256 ABs with the Cubs this season. He had spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting 25 or more dingers in four of those seasons. He set a career high with 36 HRs and 74 RBI in 2019, making the All-Star team in the NL.

The Braves depth in the OF consists of Adrianza, Orlando Arcia, Ender Inciarte and Guillermo Herdia. None of those four has any real power, so that’s where Pederson comes in to fill in for Acuna. We could see Pederson bat in the middle of the order for the Braves, which could give him some good fantasy baseball potential as a flier on the waiver wire in deeper leagues. He’s no where near Acuna, but batting behind Albies and Freeman isn’t a bad situation. Pederson also has experience leading off and can play all over the infield.