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Joc Pederson Says He Never Wanted To Leave The Cubs

Joc Pederson touched on several Cubs connections in a recent article for The Players' Tribune.
Joc Pederson

Photo: AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

As the World Series is set to begin tonight, it seems right on cue for ex-Cubs to mention their former team and rile fans up about the current regime and Tom Ricketts.

At least, that's what I assume this particular tidbit will do for some fans.

Joc Pederson wrote a piece for The Players' Tribune today describing the end of his tenure with the Cubs and the journey on the way to the World Series after.

Getting traded sucks.

Like, I won’t lie — I wasn’t looking to leave Chicago. I enjoyed playing for the Cubs, enjoyed the city, enjoyed Wrigley..... plus I’d already changed teams last offseason. I wasn’t exactly dying to do it twice in a year. So when I saw Jed’s name pop up on my caller I.D. over the All-Star break, my heart kind of sank a little. We’d been losing, and I’d heard the same rumors as everyone else — that the Cubs were going to be sellers.

Turns out the rumors were true. Jed thanked me for my time with the club, and told me that the Braves had come after me hard. So they were moving me to Atlanta.

- Joc Pederson in The Players' Tribune

Pederson was solid for the Cubs in the first half of the 2021 season. He struggled mightily in April but really began to heat up once May came around. That success carried into June before the Cubs endured a forgetful 11-game losing streak.

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Pederson slashed .230/.300/.418 in 256 at-bats, good for a .718 OPS. The Cubs moved him during the All-Star break in exchange for first baseman Bryce Ball.

From a pure baseball perspective, the Cubs made the right move in sending Pederson to Atlanta considering the state of the organization at the time of the trade. We knew the end was coming, unfortunately, for a lot of players.

Some fans still haven't accepted it yet.

Joc's tenure with the Braves has been fun to watch for Cubs fans throughout the postseason. He elaborated further on his Cubs connections in The Players' Tribune, saying he still talks with Anthony Rizzo and it seems their relationship was very good despite only being teammates for a few months.

On a drive-by view, it would seem Pederson has struggled most of the postseason as he owns a .227/.292/.364 slash line. However, he has come up with big hits for the Braves, including a three-run home run to beat the Brewers... which he hit with Rizzo's bat.

Perhaps a reunion is possible down the road. Pederson's contract includes a mutual option this coming offseason before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2022 season.

Either way, Pederson will always be revered by Cubs fans.