Unexpected trade target would be perfect fit for Phillies

Jun 29, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Joc Pederson (23) hits a double during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 29, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants left fielder Joc Pederson (23) hits a double during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Philadelphia Phillies should be looking for outfield help at the trade deadline.

With Bryce Harper out 6-8 weeks and subpar defenders pretty much everywhere around the outfield, the Phillies need a boost defensively. And of course, another bat never hurts.

Unfortunately for them, outfield help is hard to find. Joey Gallo and Andrew Benintendi are among the rumored options, but based on their struggles in the high-pressure environments of New York and Boston, neither feels like a safe bet for Philly.

There may be another option, though.

The Phillies should target Joc Pederson at the trade deadline

If the San Francisco Giants are sellers at next month’s trade deadline, and that’s a big if, the Phillies should be first in line to trade for Pederson.

The 30-year-old outfielder is hitting .274/.342/.567 with a .909 OPS this year, and has 10 doubles and 17 home runs in 70 games. Unfortunately for him and possibly fortunately for the Phillies, the Giants are currently 40-39, two games out of holding one of the three National League Wild Card spots. More telling than their overall record is their current freefall; they’re 2-8 in their last ten games. Meanwhile, the Phillies are 43-38 (6-4 in their last ten games), tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the third berth.

Phillies fans will recall how much Pederson contributed to the Atlanta Braves’ postseason run and World Series championship last year. Over 64 regular-season games, he hit .249/.325/.428 with a .752 OPS.

Pederson also has 79 career postseason games under his belt and two World Series rings (Cubs and Braves), experience that would certainly prove invaluable to this drought-ridden franchise. In contrast, the Phillies have the two active MLB players with the most career regular-season games without appearing in the postseason, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto. Pederson homered three times during the Braves’ championship run last fall, scored four times, and drove in nine runs.

Of course, the Giants selling midseason after winning 107 regular-season games last year would be a shocking twist at this year’s deadline. But if they are, the Phillies should be first in line to poach Pederson. Signed to a one-year deal, he’d be a short-term rental, but almost certainly an upgrade. And after all, he worked for the Braves.