With the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings around the corner, the amount of free agency and trade speculation has begun to increase and in some cases led to signings.
Monday’s deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players brought about roster activity, including for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they agreed to one-year contracts with Scott Alexander and Austin Barnes.
Yimi Garcia was non-tendered and became a free agent, while the likes of Pedro Baez, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor and Julio Urias were tendered.
As that process is due to unfold over the coming weeks, the Dodgers have additionally been connected to free agents Gerrit Cole, Josh Donaldson, Kevin Gausman, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg.
L.A. is also believed to be willing to field trade offers for some of their players. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Chicago White Sox engaged the Dodgers in trade talks for Pederson:
The Chicago White Sox, believing they can make a playoff push in 2020, are willing to pay a huge price for free agent starter Zack Wheeler, and have engaged in preliminary trade talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers for power-hitting outfielder Joc Pederson, according to two people with direct knowledge of the talks.
The White Sox have been one of the more active teams this offseason. It started with the signing of Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million contract, and the following day Jose Abreu was re-signed to a three-year, $50 million deal.
Both moves, along with their reported interest in Zack Wheeler, suggest the White Sox are keen on snapping a streak of seven consecutive losing seasons.
Pederson has been mentioned in trade speculation in each of the past two seasons. In January the White Sox were said to be among the teams with interest in the versatile outfielder. Pederson is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season, which could be a factor in the Dodgers’ apparent willingness to discuss a trade.
He batted a pedestrian .249/.339/.538, but provided plenty of power from the leadoff spot. Pederson’s 36 home runs were second on the team and he set a franchise record with nine leadoff homers. Pederson previously broke Davey Lopes’ Dodgers record with eight leadoff home runs last season.
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