Joc Pederson won’t test free agency after all, accepting the Giants’ one-year, $19.65-million qualifying offer ahead of Tuesday’s 4 PM ET deadline. Playing for his fourth team in three seasons, Pederson enjoyed a bounce-back year in 2022, leading the Giants in home runs with 23 while setting career-highs in both batting average (.274) and on-base percentage (.353). For his efforts, Pederson was selected as an All-Star starter for the first time, joining teammate Carlos Rodon as one of two Giants representatives at this year’s Mid-Summer Classic.
Rodon also received a qualifying offer Tuesday but declined it in favor of becoming a free agent. Per the league’s collective bargaining agreement, if Rodon signs elsewhere for more than $50 million, the Giants will be compensated with a pick between the first and Competitive Balance Round A of next year’s draft.
Players typically prefer the stability of a long-term contract, which is why only 13 of 124 (10.5 percent) presumptive free agents have accepted the qualifying offer since it was first implemented in 2012. Of the 14 players to receive the qualifying offer this year, only two—Pederson and Rangers lefty Martin Perez—accepted. Pederson’s Giants teammate, Brandon Belt, was the only player to accept last year, making him ineligible for future qualifying offers (players are only permitted the QO once in their career).
Pederson’s qualifying offer—determined by the average of the league’s top 125 salaries—represents a significant raise on the $6 million he made last season. It will be interesting to see how Pederson’s return affects San Francisco’s pursuit of Aaron Judge, considered by most to be the crown jewel of this year’s free-agent class. The Giants are thought to be the Yankees’ biggest threat in the Judge sweepstakes with recent reports indicating San Francisco is willing to spend “whatever it takes” to bring the 30-year-old slugger back to his native California. Tim Healy of The Athletic projects that will be somewhere in the range of eight years, $320 million.
A 30-year-old outfielder, the left-handed-hitting Pederson has won two World Series since debuting in 2014, one each for the Dodgers (2020) and Braves (2021).