Chicago Cubs: Re-grading the fateful 2021 trade deadline

(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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Joc Pederson / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /

Joc Pederson trade seems like a win for the Cubs and the Braves alike

The first trade Hoyer made was to offload Joc Pederson, who had an up-and-down stint in Chicago. The Cubs were able to net first baseman Bryce Ball in the deal. Ball had an intriguing blend of power and on-base ability, which made him a decent return for a rental outfielder. The hangup with Ball is that he was marred by inconsistency and a very high strikeout rate. He began to flash toward the end of the 2021 season, but still had a good amount of work to do.

Meanwhile, Pederson became the heart and soul of a Braves team that caught fire down the stretch and made a miracle run to a world series title. For that reason alone, it’s impossible to categorize the trade as a loss for Atlanta. However, Ball’s hot start this year is certainly noteworthy, as well.

The Cubs decided to elevate Ball to Double-A Tennessee to start the year and he has been one of the biggest breakouts in a flourishing Cubs system. Ball, as of May 24, carried a slash line of .315/.389/.524 with six home runs. The big improvement in Ball’s approach is the heavily reduced strikeout rate as he’s struck out on 19 percent of his plate appearances as opposed to a ghastly 27.5 percent strikeout rate in 2021.

While the Braves will never wind up regretting this trade, the Cubs may very well be very happy with the outcome of this one as well.

  • Original Grade: B
  • New Grade: A