SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants had hoped to sign Joc Pederson to a contract extension before the end of his first season in orange and black. Except that, They offered it to him. He couldn’t refuse.

Pederson accepted a one-year eligibility offer on Tuesday, the MLB Players Association announced. This keeps him in San Francisco for a second year, this time at a higher salary. By accepting the qualifying offer, Pederson will make $19.65 million in 2023 and hit free agency again next summer. The other Giant turned down Carlos Rodo to get QO, so the Giants will get a draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

Pederson signed a one-year, $6 million contract with his hometown team and became the most dangerous hitter in the lineup shortly after the lockout ended in March. He led the Giants with 23 homers and an .874 OPS while making his second All-Star team. Pederson has made several breakthroughs defensively, but the Giants plan to play him more often at DH in 2023 and believe there are strides he can make defensively by working on his conditioning.

Pederson’s move is the first big one of the season for the Giants. Seen by Carlos Rodon — as expected — reject the qualified offer. It could have a big impact on future moves, some even with current giants.

The front office is hoping for more athleticism, and it’s hard to see how the roster will accommodate Pederson and Tommy LaStella, with a trio of left-handed outfielders Mike Yastrzemski, Lamonte Wade Jr. and Luis Gonzalez. Bringing back Pederson should also help a bit with the persuasion. Free agent position to sign players.

Related: Three key needs to consider when starting free agency

While he pitched last year and still has, Pederson gives the Giants a proven slugger in the heart of the order. Any marquee free agent considering the Giants these days knows they’ll hit either in front or behind Pederson, a popular player in league circles and seen as a good clubhouse leader.

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