Thursday's MLB: Braves acquire OF Joc Pederson in trade with Cubs

By Jay Cohen

Chicago — The Atlanta Braves acquired Joc Pederson in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, bolstering their outfield after losing Ronald Acuña Jr. to a season-ending knee injury.

Atlanta sent minor league first baseman Bryce Ball to Chicago for Pederson, who is batting .230 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs in 73 games. The 29-year-old Pederson spent his first seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers before signing with the Cubs in free agency in February.

Chicago Cubs' Joc Pederson (24) hits a three-run double against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 9, 2021, in Chicago.

The Braves are looking to return to the playoffs, but their pursuit of a fourth straight NL East title took a hit when Acuña tore the ACL in his right knee during Saturday's 5-4 victory over Miami.

Atlanta hit the All-Star break in third in the division, four games back of the first-place New York Mets.

Pederson could be in the lineup when the Braves return to the field Friday night against Tampa Bay. The lefty-batting slugger played in the postseason in each of the previous six years with Los Angeles, batting .382 with two homers in 16 games in the Dodgers' run to the World Series title in 2020.

Atlanta assumes the $1,935,484 remaining of Pederson’s $4.5 million salary. The deal includes a $10 million mutual option with a $2.5 million buyout and allows Pederson to earn $125,000 each for 500, 525, 550 and 575 plate appearances.

The Pederson deal could be the first of many for Chicago before the July 30 trade deadline. The Cubs dropped 13 of 15 before the break, moving the team into sell mode after it was once on top of the NL Central.

All-Stars Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel, along with slugging infielders Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo, are among the top names that could be headed out of Chicago. Báez, Bryant and Rizzo are eligible for free agency after this season.

Ball, 23, was selected by Atlanta in the 24th round of the 2019 amateur draft. The 6-foot-6 Ball batted .207 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 53 games for High-A Rome this year.

More of Thursday's MLB

► Dark days: Mets to use black jerseys for 1st time since 2012

For the Mets, July 30 will be a dark day — in a good way.

New York will use black jerseys for the first time since 2012 when the Mets play Cincinnati at Citi Field that night.

The Mets said Thursday that they will use black jerseys for all remaining Friday night home games this season.

The Mets last wore a home black jersey in July 2012, an 8-5 home defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers that included R.A. Dickey's first relief appearance in 10 years. It was New York's eighth loss in nine games.

Memorable Mets games in black jerseys include: Bobby Valentine returning to the dugout with eyeglasses and a fake mustache of eye black following an ejection on June 9, 1999; Robin Ventura's game-ending grand slam single in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series against Atlanta that Oct. 17; and David Wright's first major league home run, against Montreal on July 26, 2004.

New York will wear black jerseys on Aug. 13 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Aug. 27 against Washington, Sept. 10 against the New York Yankees, and Sept. 17 against Philadelphia.

► Dick Tidrow, former pitcher, Giants executive, dies at 74

Dick Tidrow, a former major league pitcher and longtime member of the San Francisco Giants' front office, has died. He was 74.

The Giants announced his death Wednesday on behalf of the Tidrow family. He died unexpectedly Saturday in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

“Our entire organization is heartbroken by the news of Dick’s passing,” Giants President and CEO Larry Baer said. “So much of our success over these past three decades is directly linked to Dick’s contributions."

Tidrow pitched parts of 13 major league seasons for the Indians, the Yankees, Cubs, White Sox and Mets. The 6-foot-4 right-hander had a 100-94 career record with a 3.68 ERA over 620 appearances with 138 starts.

Tidrow most recently served as the Giants' senior adviser to the president of baseball operations. He spent 28 seasons in a half-dozen roles with the Giants after joining the franchise before the 1994 season as a major league scout.

The former pitcher's guidance was crucial during the Giants' three World Series championship seasons of 2010, ‘12 and ’14. The 2010 championship was the first for the franchise since moving West in 1958.

“Dick was a unique and special person whose influence and impact was legendary throughout the game and whose fingerprints are all over our three World Series trophies,” said Brian Sabean, the Giants' executive vice president and senior adviser. “On a personal level, we shared some incredible highs and lows together and I’m forever grateful for his 40 years of friendship and support.”

Before returning to his native San Francisco, Tidrow worked as a special assignment scout for the Yankees from 1985 through 1993.

“Crushing! Yet another great baseball man we have lost!” former Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen posted on Twitter. “The ‘ninja’ was so influential with all of us. His random times he’d pop up, maybe say a few words that might help you out, say a few words that you might not of wanted to hear at the time. But he ALWAYS was HONEST!”

Tidrow was born on May 14, 1947, in San Francisco. A former Marine, he attended high school and college in the East Bay suburb of Hayward, graduating from Mount Eden High in 1965 and Chabot Junior College two years later.

He is survived by his wife, Mari Jo, three children — Andy, Matt and Richelle — and one grandchild, Trista.

“Dick was truly one of a kind. He is loved and missed beyond measure and irreplaceable in our hearts and lives,” Mari Jo Tidrow said.

Services were pending.