The New York Yankees remained a strong home run-hitting team in a lost 2023 MLB season but finished in the bottom 10 in runs, hits, and RBIs. San Francisco Giants slugger Joc Pederson will be available this offseason for reinforcements in the batting order.
Can Pederson Return to His All-Star Form From 2022 in a Yankees Uniform?
Pederson had somewhat of a down season from his All-Star 2022 debut campaign with the Giants. He posted a .235 batting average in 121 games played this year. Although he wasn’t able to connect on pitches at a very efficient rate, he did deliver 59 runs and 15 home runs in 2023.
The Yankees have thrived off of their firepower behind the plate and were missing the spark they were able to harness throughout their deep playoff runs from 2017-2022.
Pederson’s 15 homers would have tied him with DJ LeMahieu for fifth most on the team. His 59 runs and .416 slug percentage would have placed him on par for fourth among all Yankees with 1B Anthony Rizzo and LeMahieu, respectively.
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Pederson rose to prominence during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he carved out a name for himself as a power hitter, reaching his peak in the 2019 campaign with a career-high 36 dingers, 112 hits, and a .876 OPS.
He has not been able to replicate his breakout year since, though he did become the second major league player in the last century, including Yankees great Joe DiMaggio, to record three home runs, 8 RBIs, and game-tying RBIs in both the eighth and ninth innings in a single game in 2022.
Can the Yankees Afford to Sign Pederson With Other Enticing Free Agents on the Market?
Pederson has the track record to provide the Yankees with solid hitting further down the order should general manager Brian Cashman opt to bring him on board. He signed a one-year, $19.65 million contract with San Francisco last winter — the largest of his career — and could be had for less based off of his most recent play while carrying the potential for a resurgent 2024.