Joc Pederson Understanding Of Situation, But Feels ‘A Little Awkward’ Remaining With Dodgers After Trade Rumors

Seemingly concurrent to agreeing to a three-team trade with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Dodgers also came to terms with the L.A. Angels on a deal that would send out Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling and prospect Andy Pages.

In return the Dodgers were to receive Luis Rengifo and one or two Minor League players. The trade appeared to be salary-motivated as it would keep L.A. under the luxury tax threshold even with the additions of Mookie Betts and David Price.

However, the trade was contingent on the blockbuster first being completed, and that ultimately came undone. While the Dodgers managed to acquire Betts and Price, plus Brusdar Graterol from the Twins, in separate trades, their deal with the Angels never was finalized because of owner Arte Moreno’s frustration over the delay.

Thus, Pederson and Stripling are among the Dodgers already in camp for Spring Training. Pederson acknowledged the strange feeling that came from the week-long saga, but he is looking forward to contributing, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

Joc Pederson said he got texts from Dave Roberts, #Dodgers teammates, members of ownership saying goodbye when news of trade to Angels broke. “It’s a little awkward coming back. … But I’m excited to be here, ready to win a World Series.”

— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 15, 2020

Joc Pederson said it wasn’t until 30 minutes before #Dodgers announced trade with Boston that he knew he wasn’t being traded. “It was kind of up in the air the whole time … Until that happened I honestly thought I was going to be on the Angels.”

— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) February 15, 2020

Stripling expressed a similar sentiment in his first comments since the failed trade, noting he’d never previously been part of such speculation. He too is pleased to have remained with the Dodgers — the only organization he’s known.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman noted the team had multiple moving parts as they were working to trade for Betts and Price, and he voiced excitement over still having Pederson and Stripling part of the fold.

“A lot was made publicly — some accurate and some not accurate — about different things that were out there,” he said. “Our thing was putting ourselves in the best position to acquire the two guys we acquired. That had a lot of different combinations and a lot of different things that were potentials.

“The way it ended up playing out, we’re happy with and excited about. Some of that information was correct, some was not, and it didn’t happen, so it’s hard to speak to it. But we feel really good about the way things played out and what our team looks like right now.”

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