GLENDALE, Ariz. — Joc Pederson was back in a familiar clubhouse. He had the same dressing stall and many of the same teammates.
Not much had changed, except for him.
He felt awkward — and with good reason.
Pederson put his Dodgers uniform back on at Camelback Ranch over the weekend for the start of spring training. Just a week earlier, it looked as if he would be performing these February rituals across town in Tempe.
For five days, Pederson appeared to be headed to the Los Angeles Angels along with pitcher Ross Stripling as part of several multiplayer trades surrounding Mookie Betts‘ move to the Dodgers. The Angels-Dodgers trade was eventually scrapped, but only after an uncomfortable amount of uncertainty for the players involved.
“I thought for sure I was going to the Angels,” Pederson said. “It seemed pretty official. I was talking with my wife about what we were going to do living-wise, spring training-wise, talking about changing my cleats, everything.”
Stripling thought the same thing. For a few days, he made plans to move on.
“I’m thinking I’m leaving all my friends and teammates,” Stripling said. “The Dodgers are all I know.”
Both Pederson and Stripling have played for only…