Braves' Pederson: Dodgers told me they weren't interested last winter

Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / Getty

Atlanta Braves outfielder Joc Pederson has tormented his former team during the National League Championship Series, but it didn't have to be that way.

Pederson, who spent seven years with the Los Angeles Dodgers before leaving via free agency last winter, says he wanted to stay with L.A., but the team didn't want him back.

Following the 2020 season, Pederson said the team's message to him was, "We're not going to be in on you," according to The Athletic's Andy McCullough.

Pederson was relegated to a platoon role in the outfield during his last season with Los Angeles, hitting just .190/.285/.397 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 43 games. The numbers were far from his 2019 stats, where he crushed 34 homers and slugged .538.

After he didn't receive a contract offer from the Dodgers, the 29-year-old signed a one-year agreement with the Chicago Cubs. The Braves later acquired him in a July trade to help supplement the loss of injured star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.

While Pederson's regular-season numbers with Atlanta didn't stand out, he has a knack for doing well in the playoffs. He's posted a 1.357 OPS with three homers and seven RBIs in 14 plate appearances, including a two-run shot off Max Scherzer in Game 2.

Pederson's also provided the Braves with a ton of energy. His pearl necklace jewelry, for instance, has become a signature and found its way around the necks of fans at Truist Park.

However, despite being allowed to leave last offseason, Pederson doesn't hold any ill feelings toward the Dodgers.

"I loved my time there," Pederson said. "We won a World Series. I made some really good friends."

Braves' Pederson: Dodgers told me they weren't interested last winter
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