Cubs announce several roster moves


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Pederson should do well hitting at Wrigley Field (Gary Vasquez - USA Today Sports)
Pederson should do well hitting at Wrigley Field (Gary Vasquez - USA Today Sports)

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today agreed to terms with outfielder Joc Pederson on a major league contract for the 2021 season with a mutual option for 2022, with right-handed pitcher Trevor Williams on a 2021 major league contract and with left-handed pitcher Andrew Chafin on a 2021 major league contract with a mutual option for 2022. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Additionally, infielder Max Schrock has been designated for assignment. Chicago’s 40-man roster stands at 40 players.

Pederson, 28, is a career .230 hitter (496-for-2,153) with 112 doubles, seven triples, 130 home runs and 303 RBI in 748 games in all or part of seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2014-20. He owns a .501 slugging percentage with an .849 OPS to go along with 121 home runs and a .238 average (430-for-1,808) against right-handed pitching. Pederson has seen time at all three outfield positions, playing 412 games in center field, 229 games in left field and 54 games in right field, as well as 20 games at first base.

Since Pederson’s first full season in 2015, he ranks among N.L. outfielders in home runs (130, fifth), walks (295, seventh), slugging (.474, 11th), OPS (.810, 12th), RBI (303, 16th) and OBP (.336, 16th). Additionally, Pederson ranks eighth among all N.L. players since 2015 having averaged 4.14 pitches per plate appearance.

The left-handed hitting Pederson last season helped the Dodgers to the 2020 World Series title and owns a .272 (41-for-151) average in 64 career postseason games, with nine home runs, 20 RBI and an .852 OPS. In four 2020 postseason rounds, Pederson batted .382 (13-for-34) with two home runs, eight RBI, a .432 on-base percentage and a .991 OPS.

Pederson, who batted .190 (23-for-121) with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 43 games last season, set career marks during the 2019 campaign with 83 runs, 112 hits, 36 home runs, 74 RBI, a .249 batting average, a .538 slugging percentage and an .876 OPS in 149 games. His 36 home runs that season came against right-handed pitching and nine of the home runs were of the leadoff variety.

Pederson in 2015 was named to the N.L. All-Star team via the player vote and replaced Matt Holliday in the starting lineup to become the first Dodger rookie position player to earn a start in the Midsummer Classic. He finished his 2015 campaign with 26 home runs, tied with Kris Bryant for the most by a rookie in the majors that season.

A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Pederson was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 draft out of Palo Alto High School. His father, Stu, was drafted by the Dodgers in 1981 and played eight games in the majors in 1985. His brother, Tyger, was selected by the Dodgers in the 33rd round of the 2013 draft.

Williams, 28, is 31-37 with a complete game, a shutout and a 4.43 ERA (263 ER/534.2 IP) in 106 major league games (94 starts) in all or part of five seasons with the Pirates from 2016-20. He has walked 177 batters and struck out 416 for an average of 7.0 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.

In 2018, Williams set career highs with 14 victories, 31 starts, 170.2 innings pitched, 126 strikeouts and a 3.11 ERA. He was the only major league pitcher to make 10 starts of at least 6.0 innings without allowing a run, and his 3.11 ERA (59 ER/170.2 IP) ranked seventh in the N.L. Williams’ 1.38 ERA in the season’s second half led the N.L. and was second in the majors behind Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell (1.17).

Williams, who last season was 2-8 with a 6.18 ERA (38 ER/55.1 IP) in 11 starts for Pittsburgh, was selected by the Miami Marlins in the second round of the 2013 draft out of Arizona State University. He was acquired by the Pirates, October 24, 2015, for minor league pitcher Richard Mitchell.

Chafin, 30, returns to the Cubs after he was acquired by Chicago with cash from Arizona, August 31 of last season, for a player to be named (minor league infielder Ronny Simon). He made four relief appearances for the Cubs, holding the opponent scoreless in three outings after he missed time on the 10-day injured list due to a left finger sprain.

Chafin is 10-13 with a 3.67 ERA (112 ER/274.2 IP) in 341 career major league games, all but three as a reliever, with the Diamondbacks (2014-20) and Cubs (2020). He is the only major league pitcher to record at least 70 appearances in each of the last three full seasons from 2017-19, including a career-high 77 appearances in both 2018 and 2019.

Chafin has limited left-handed batters in a .230 batting average, .306 on-base percentage, .311 slugging percentage and .616 OPS in his career. He has averaged more than a strikeout per inning (291 strikeouts in 274.2 IP). He was originally selected by the Diamondbacks in the first round (43rd overall) of the 2011 Draft out of Kent State University.

Schrock, 26, was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from St. Louis on October 30 of last year.

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