Braves Acquire OF Joc Pederson in Trade With Cubs

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With the MLB trade deadline just over two weeks away, the hot stove has officially started to flicker on.

The Braves announced Thursday they had acquired outfielder Joc Pederson in a trade with the Cubs. Chicago will receive first baseman Bryce Ball, who's spent the season at the High-A level.

Pederson, 29, signed with the Cubs this offseason on a one-year, $7 million contract with a mutual option for 2022. In 73 games, he hit .230/.300/.418 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs.

The Braves are in need of outfield reinforcements as they try to run down the Mets in the National League East. Ronald Acuña Jr. is out for the season with a torn ACL, while Marcell Ozuna's status is currently in limbo following his arrest for domestic battery in May.

Atlanta enters the second half in third place in the NL East, trailing the Mets by four games. Current outfield options include Guillermo Heredia, Ehire Adrianza, Abraham Almonte and former Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia.

For the Cubs, the deal is the first in what could be several cost-cutting moves as the deadline draws nearer. Chicago has several star players in their final seasons before free agency, a group that includes Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo.

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