Almost lost in the shuffle of the Dodger’s blockbuster deal to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price from the Red Sox on Tuesday night was the deal sending Joc Pederson to the Angels for minor league infielder Luis Rengifo. Some of you may be wondering why the Dodgers dealt Pederson to the Angels. They didn’t do it to acquire Rengifo. The switch-hitting 22-year old Venezuelan infielder will provide the Dodgers with some infield depth down in Oklahoma City. He’ll team with Clayton Daniel and give the Dodgers some fodder in case of emergency. Oklahoma City needs players too.
There will be more players involved in the Joc Pederson-Luis Rengifo trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels should it pass medical reviews, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 5, 2020
Angels-Dodgers trade is not yet done as players are being informed, source tells The Athletic. Angels getting Joc Pederson, a big league starter and a prospect from the Dodgers in exchange for Luis Rengifo and another prospect.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) February 5, 2020
(Apparently there are more players involved in the deal. My guess is the big league starter is apparently its Ross Stripling not Nelson, but we shall see) Rengifo was considered one of the Angel’s top ten prospects before he made his MLB debut in 2019. Rengifo slashed .238/.321/.364 with 7 home runs, 33 runs batted in and a below average 84 OPS+. He doesn’t have much power, and his batting and on-base skills will hopefully improve over time. He’s very young and with some needed development could turn into a viable bench piece in the future.
The Dodgers traded Pederson to clear roster space. They don’t need him anymore (with the addition of Betts) and with the current surplus of outfielders made him expendable. For the record, I will miss Joc. I have long been a strong supporter of Pederson. He’s a good player and the Dodgers are going to miss his power and on-base skills.
Joc slugged 36 home runs in 2019 but his on-base skills did actually dip a tick. His struggles against left handers are well known, but he crushed right handers and played well in the postseason. Joc should get a good opportunity to remain close to Los Angeles and get some playing time in addition to the chance to prove himself against southpaws.
I will surely miss Joc regardless. I will not forget his clutch home run in game 6 of the 2017 World Series against Joe Musgrove and the cheater Astros. He hit three home runs in that fall classic, but the one in game 6 was the most important. Good luck in Disneyland Joc!