New Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson wrote this long article for the Players Tribune recently.
Mostly, it’s about his farewell to the Dodgers and his hometown of Los Angeles. Our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA covered that side of the story.
This part of the article is what interested me, and should interest you as a Cubs fan:
I started going on my cell phone and looking up all this stuff, like who was under the luxury tax, and what would a deferred-money deal potentially look like, and what kind of options would that open for me. Of course I was also looking at who had a need in left field.
And then I swear to God this happened: It’s about 11:30 at night, and I’m in bed on my phone. I’m shuffling between various roster pages, thinking through different possibilities, trying to figure it all out. When all of a sudden it hits me — man, I’m telling you, like a bolt of lightning.
I turn to Kelsey and I say, “Shoot — I figured it out. I’m gonna play for the Cubs.”
She gives me one of those looks, like, Don’t get my hopes up. Chicago is probably her favorite city.
And I’m just like, “Let’s talk more tomorrow. But it’s going to be the Cubs. You watch.”
Wake up that next morning. Connect with Jed over the phone — unreal conversation. We’re even more on the same page than I could have anticipated.
Pederson goes on to talk about how he and David Ross connected:
He told me about his managerial style. He was like, “I’m going to be blunt with you. I’m going to be real honest about things.” (Great. That’s how I like it.)
He told me about what I could expect my role to be. He was like, “You’re going to be our guy in left field, save for the occasional rest day, same as anyone. But if we’re at the All-Star break and you’re hitting a buck fifty, you know….. we’re going to reassess. We’ll probably have to make a change.” (100%. I absolutely respect that, and I respect Rossy for saying it. Anything else would have felt like a fake promise.)
He told me he was all in, and he’d love to have me on the team. I told him I was all in, and I’d love to be there.
And what can I say — now I’m on the Cubs.
I couldn’t be more excited.
Well, this is great. Seriously. The Cubs now have a guy who’s enthusiastic about being here and excited about the possibilities. Yes, you’ll miss Kyle Schwarber, I get it. But I’m betting Joc Pederson will be a fan favorite at Wrigley Field before too long. And Chicago is his wife’s “favorite city”? Even better.
Here’s a short video Pederson posted to Instagram about his time in L.A. He obviously loves his family, and it ends with a couple of aerial shots of Chicago:
Welcome to Chicago, Joc. You’re gonna love it here.