So far Tuesday has gone exactly as expected for the San Francisco Giants. Their 2022 ace, Carlos Rodón, rejected the qualifying offer — that was a given, seeing as how it was for less money than the player option that he rejected. But outfielder Joc Pederson, as expected, accepted the qualifying offer, and will return to the Giants on a one-year, $19.65 million deal.
It was somewhat surprising that Pederson, who signed with the Giants on a one year, $6 million deal last offseason, was offered the qualifying offer at all. Despite being an All-Star a year ago, and having a tremendous season with the bat, his WAR figures didn’t quite line up with a $20 million man.
But the Giants clearly like him, and it’s not hard to see why. The team is in dire need of left-handed hitters, and there’s reason to thing that Joc will be much m ore valuable this year. The changing shift rules should really help his offense, and if the Giants make the type of offseason moves that they’re rumored to be exploring, Pederson will either be able to slide into a designated hitter role, or have his poor defense negated a little bit by better outfield defenders.
Above all else though, we can hope that giving Joc the qualifying offer — which is the second-highest contract by annual value that the Giants have doled out in the Farhan Zaidi era, after Rodón’s — is a sign that they are, indeed, ready and willing to spend. Pederson looks good in orange and black. So, too, would Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa.
It wasn’t long ago that qualifying offers were a formality, and no one accepted them. Now it’s becoming a little bit more popular, with Pederson the second Giant in as many years to take the offer, after Brandon Belt did last offseason.
Welcome back, Joc!