Josh Reddick Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Managers, A’s, Reddick, Tulo, Astros

Earlier this week, in the wake of the Marlins’ managerial change, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports noted that the two skippers who were most obviously on the hot seat had now been dismissed. With Mike Redmond and Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke having been replaced, Rosenthal looks at four more managers who could eventually find themselves in danger of losing their jobs, listing John Gibbons (Blue Jays), Bud Black (Padres), Fredi Gonzalez (Braves) and Terry Collins (Mets) as the likeliest options. Gibbons can’t be blamed for the lack of quality relief arms he has at his disposal, Rosenthal notes, but bench coach Demarlo Hale has long been thought of as a managerial prospect and makes sense as a replacement option. Black’s Padres are struggling with pitching, and Mark Kotsay‘s name is floated by Rosenthal as someone who could be the next recently retired player to turn manager. Braves president of baseball ops John Hart isn’t as high on Gonzalez as president John Schuerholz or Bobby Cox, and there’s been some recent “internal finger-pointing,” Rosenthal hears. Collins nearly lost his job at the end of the 2014 season, he notes, and while the team is still in first place, the Mets’ managerial situation has long been volatile in nature.

Here’s more from Rosenthal…

  • In a new Notes column, Rosenthal looks at the Athletics‘ roster in the wake of a brutal start to the season. As many have pointed out, Scott Kazmir, Tyler Clippard and Ben Zobrist — each a pending free agent — would all be logical trade candidates if the team is still underperforming in July. However, Rosenthal writes that there’s no way GM Billy Beane will act quickly and sell, as he’ll first want to see how the team performs with Zobrist and closer Sean Doolittle healthy and activated from the DL. One change that won’t be coming, Rosenthal adds, is at manager. Beane and skipper Bob Melvin have a strong relationship, and it’s “exceptionally unlikely” that Melvin would be dismissed, in Rosenthal’s eyes.
  • Another possible trade chip for the A’s could be Josh Reddick, who is earning $4.1MM after his second trip through arbitration this year. The Athletics, however, resisted trade offers for Reddick all offseason, Rosenthal hears.
  • Rosenthal recently called Rockies owner Dick Monfort to discuss the recent Troy Tulowitzki trade chatter. However, when Rosenthal began asking about Tulowitzki, Monfort “quickly hung up.” The bizarre situation lends credence to wide-spread belief that Tulo, his agent and even GM Jeff Bridich have little say in whether or not the Rockies trade the face of their franchise. Rather, it’ll come down to the team owner’s wishes.
  • The Astros are considering a long list of pitchers that either are or could become available, and they’ve recently been scouting Jeff Samardzija. It remains to be seen if the Astros would be willing to part with enough to get their hands on Samardzija, though. As Rosenthal notes, some rival execs feel that the tandem pitching system the Astros use in the minors devalues their pitching prospects, though one exec told him that it actually increases the value, as it suppresses the young pitchers’ inning counts.
  • Rosenthal believes the Rays should consider trading left-hander Jake McGee to either help their rotation or another area of the team. McGee, he notes, is earning $3.55MM this season and will see that price tag sail beyond $5MM in arbitration this winter.
  • Of course, as I noted yesterday when looking at this topic, using McGee in the ninth inning would help to keep down the future earnings of Brad Boxberger, who would benefit greatly from two full seasons of saves when he heads into arbitration following the 2016 season. And, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd mentioned to me earlier today when we were chatting, left-handed relief is an area of weakness for the Rays at this time. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if the scenario Rosenthal lays out came to fruition, and it’s hard to imagine that the Rays wouldn’t at least be open-minded to moving McGee.

West Notes: Ryu, Tucker, Moran, Reddick, Gentry

The Dodgers‘ latest update on the shoulder of Hyun-jin Ryu is not a good one. As Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times reports, Ryu sat in the 82 to 83 mph range in his last bullpen session. Manager Don Mattingly says that level was below what the team was comfortable with to continue his progression, with the club preferring instead to give Ryu extra rest. Mattingly acknowledged some concern, though he indicated it is too early to tell whether Ryu will get back on his expected timetable. The Dodgers’ summer trade plans could hinge in large part on Ryu’s health.

  • The Astros have placed star outfielder George Springer on the 7-day concussion DL and promoted fellow youngster Preston Tucker to take his place, as Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports on Twitter. Tucker, 24, entered the year listed by Baseball America as the 14th best prospect in a deep system. The power-hitting outfielder is off to a .320/.378/.650 start with ten long balls in 111 Triple-A plate appearances. Houston will need to make a 40-man move tomorrow.
  • Meanwhile, Astros third base prospect Colin Moran will miss four to six weeks after suffering a broken jaw, Drellich tweets. Moran, 22, was scuffling somewhat at Double-A, where he owns a .268/.318/.378 line in 88 turns at bat. He was acquired last summer as part of the deal that also brought Jake Marisnick to the Stros in exchange for Jarred Cosart (among other pieces). The club is still waiting for him to find his expected development arc; whether he is able to do so will have important implications on the club’s long-term planning.
  • Josh Reddick has had a breakout month at the plate for the Athletics, Dave Cameron writes for FOX Sports. Beyond his impressive results, Reddick has put up an outstanding mix of good and frequent contact, writes Cameron, who explains that a change in approach may be to credit. Reddick has just one season of arbitration eligibility remaining after this year, and he looks to be on pace to significantly boost his earning power. Another Oakland outfielder, Craig Gentry, has been headed in the opposite direction and will return to Triple-A on an optional assignment to work out his struggles. Gentry, too, is playing out his second-to-last arb-eligible campaign.

AL Notes: Rays, Viciedo, Reddick

Since taking over as the Rays‘ head of baseball operations, Matt Silverman has taken the somewhat unusual step of polling a small group of key players (including Evan Longoria and Alex Cobb) so that their voices can help inform his decision-making, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Silverman consulted with players about hiring new manager Kevin Cash, as well as on other moves. “It opened up conversations about their feelings not just on the manager position, but the organization and how it operates,” says Silverman. “And I believe those conversations led to some outcomes, and to better dialogue between the front office and the clubhouse. … There are certain things I learned that I wasn’t aware of, and wouldn’t have known, given my prior position [as team president].” Here’s more from the American League.

  • Dayan Viciedo was taken aback by the White Sox‘ decision to release him, but he’s landed on his feet after signing a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the Associated Press reports. “I was slightly surprised because I thought I had an agreement in place to stay there, but I understand it’s a business,” Viciedo says. “You have good days, you have bad days. I took it in stride. I’m not upset. It kind of surprised me at first but everything had worked out and is OK.”
  • Athletics manager Bob Melvin says outfielder Josh Reddick will be out for two weeks with a right oblique strain, MLB.com’s Jane Lee writes. Reddick will then have to take additional time to prepare to play, which means it’s questionable whether he’ll be ready for Opening Day. In the meantime, the Athletics will take looks at a variety of players in right field, including Rule 5 pick Mark Canha and newly-claimed (or, rather, re-claimed) former Red Sox farmhand Alex Hassan. Billy Burns, Jason Pridie, top prospect Matt Olson and perhaps even first baseman Ike Davis will also get looks. From the outside, though, the Athletics’ opportunity to get a better sense of what they have in Canha, who hit an impressive .303/.384/.505 with Triple-A New Orleans in the Marlins’ system last year, looks like the clearest silver lining to Reddick’s injury.


Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
  • The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
  • Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
  • Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
  • The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
  • Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
  • Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
  • Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
  • Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
  • Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
  • Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.

(more…)


Athletics Fielding Calls On Left-Handed Hitters

After acquiring lefty first baseman Ike Davis from the Pirates, the Athletics are fielding calls on lefties Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and John Jaso, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Blue Jays have reportedly asked the A’s about the now-healthy Jaso, with the Athletics showing interest in lefty starter Sean Nolin. (The Jays already have Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole to back up Russell Martin at catcher, although Navarro hopes to be traded.) The Athletics also have keen interest in finding a shortstop, given the likely departure of Jed Lowrie to free agency.

Seen in this context, the Athletics’ acquisition of Davis, who cost them only the rights to $270K in international spending, might mostly be an insurance policy in case they trade someone else. If the Athletics don’t deal another player, Slusser writes, they could non-tender Davis. Reddick (who boasts an above-average bat and a good corner outfield glove) and Moss (who’s a liability defensively but who has had three straight seasons of over 20 home runs) would appear to have significant trade value.


A’s, Reddick Avoid Arbitration

9:36pm: Reddick will receive $2.7MM, a source tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).

8:14pm: The Athletics and Josh Reddick have avoided arbitration with a one-year deal, a source tells Jane Lee of MLB.com (via Twitter).

Reddick was set to enter the arbitration process for the first time this year, and was projected to earn $2.2MM by MLBTR's Matt Swartz. Figures on the deal's size aren't yet available. Per a January tweet by John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, Reddick submitted a $3.25MM arbitration bid, while the A's offered $2MM.

Reddick was the Athletics' lone remaining arbitration eligible player, and was notably absent from the club's FanFest last weekend. However, when asked about Reddick's case at the event, GM Billy Beane didn't appear concerned, commenting, "these things always get done." The outfielder triple-slashed just .226/.307/.379 in 2013, struggling with a wrist injury.


West Notes: Reddick, Padres

Let's take a look at the latest from the AL and NL West:

  • Josh Reddick was one notable absence at the Athletics' FanFest today, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Reddick is arbitration eligible and has yet to agree to a deal, but such players still attend team events, according to Slusser. When asked about Reddick's case, GM Billy Beane indicated a lack of concern, commenting, "these things always get done." The outfielder is projected to earn $2.2MM in his first trip through the abritration process by MLBTR's Matt Swartz.
  • Padres starter Josh Johnson tells Corey Brock of MLB.com that he's already been able to throw three bullpen sessions since undergoing surgery in October to remove loose bodies in his right elbow. Club management has informed Johnson, however, that he may have a light workload in Spring Training to ensure that he's fully healthy for the start of the season.
  • Catcher Yasmani Grandal told attendees at the Padres' FanFest today that he's well ahead of schedule in his rehab from ACL surgery, and aims to start the season opener behind the plate for San Diego. Starting on Opening Day would put him back on the field less than seven months after the surgery, which can require close to a year of recovery time, writes Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego.
  • Andrew Cashner was also in attendance at FanFest today and offered his thoughts after attending his own arbitration hearing earlier this week, reports Brock"I thought it was an interesting process," the starter commented. "All you ever really know is the stuff on the field. It was interesting hearing both sides." Cashner won his case after filing for $2.4MM, just $125K more than the Padres' offer of $2.275MM. The difference was the smallest among all arbitration filings this year.

AL West Notes: Rangers, Reddick, Kendrys Morales

On this date 17 years ago, A's outfielder Brian Lesher became the first Belgian to play in a MLB game contributing a RBI single off Andy Pettitte (who went on to win a career-high 21 games and finished second to Toronto's Pat Hentgen in the AL Cy Young voting that year) as Oakland beat the Yankees 6-4. Lesher would go on to play parts of five seasons with the A's, Mariners, and Blue Jays posting a slash line of .224/.275/.380 with nine home runs and 38 RBI's in 288 plate appearances (108 games). To this day, Lesher is the only Belgian ever to appear in a MLB contest. In other news and notes from the AL West: 

  • Rangers Assistant GM Thad Levine told Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio (via Bowden on Twitter), if the club is going to make a trade before August 31st (players acquired after this date are ineligible for the post-season), it will be for a starting pitcher.
  • Levine adds (again from a Bowden tweet) the Rangers have been searching the waiver wire actively, but most of the quality players are being claimed before them.
  • A's outfielder Josh Reddick left today's game against the Orioles with discomfort in his right wrist and he thinks it's 50-50 as to whether he lands on the disabled list, reports the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser. John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group tweets Daric Barton was pulled from Triple-A Sacramento's game after one at-bat and may join the A's to replace Reddick. Slusser isn't surprised Barton would get the call over outfielders Michael Taylor and Michael Choice because Barton was slated to join the team when rosters expand September 1st and he plays first base very well allowing Brandon Moss to move to the outfield (all Twitter links). The A's 40-man roster currently sits at 39, so Barton could be added without a corresponding move.  
  • A reunion between Kendrys Morales and the Angels would not be shocking, if the pending free agent doesn't re-sign with the Mariners, tweets the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. The Mariners acquired Morales, hitting .283/.339/.450 with 17 home runs in 522 plate appearances this year, from the Angels last December for left-hander Jason Vargas
  • Earlier today, Angels manager Mike Scioscia denied reports he has philosophical differences with GM Jerry Dipoto.

Extension Candidate: Josh Reddick

Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, hitting .242/.305/.463 but providing tremendous value to the A's thanks to his power and outstanding right-field defense. Reddick played in 156 games with the A's, hitting 32 home runs with 85 runs and RBI and 11 steals. His 2012 UZR/150 of 19.3 is so high it looks like an outlier, but it's entirely consistent with his performances prior to the 2012 season, when he was with the Red Sox. Reddick's 2012 performance also won him a Gold Glove award.

Reddick currently has two years and 50 days of service time, meaning he should be eligible for arbitration after the 2013 season and for free agency after 2016. He will turn 30 shortly before his first season of free agent eligibility, in 2017.

Cameron Maybin's five-year, $25MM contract with the Padres, signed before the 2012 season, might provide a basic framework for a Reddick extension. (Maybin's contract also contains a $9MM team option with a $1MM buyout.) Like Reddick, Maybin was coming off a defense-fueled breakout year, posting 4.6 wins above replacement in 2011 (compared to 4.8 for Reddick last year), playing 147 games, and posting a line of .264/.323/.393 with 40 stolen bases while playing in tough PETCO Park. Much of Maybin's offensive value comes his baserunning, whereas Reddick's comes from his power, and Maybin plays center field, rather than right. But like Reddick now, Maybin was a young outfielder who had between two and three years of service time at the time of his contract. If Reddick were to receive a five-year deal, he might make a hair more than Maybin did.

A glance at roughly-similar players who have gone to arbitration reveals that the first four years of a $25-28MM contract would be consistent with what the A's might pay Reddick if they took him year to year. The Tigers' Austin Jackson settled for $3.5MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. Mets first baseman Ike Davis, whose offensive numbers (although certainly not his defensive ones) were similar to Reddick's in 2012, will make $3.1MM in his first arbitration year. Reddick appears likely to make more as a first-year arbitration player than Davis did, although much would depend on how Reddick plays next season. If we stipulate that Reddick would make $3.5MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility, that would put him very much in line with the long-term contracts of Maybin and Curtis Granderson, who both signed with one year before hitting arbitration and received $3MM (Maybin) to $3.5MM (Granderson) in the second years of their deals. As with the both contracts, the A's could add a team option to the end as a way of compensating for their large financial commitment.

Would such a move make sense for the A's, though? Reddick's profile — lots of defensive value, lots of power, and inconsistent contact-making ability — worked brilliantly for him in 2012. But three projection systems (ZiPS, Steamer and Oliver) all see Reddick providing substantially less value in 2013, in part because it's unlikely he'll continue to post such amazing defensive numbers. And while Reddick's 151 strikeouts in 2012 don't prove anything about the value he provided in 2012, they might not bode well going forward, especially when coupled with a .242 batting average. The career of Drew Stubbs, another gifted defensive outfielder with a penchant for strikeouts, may be instructive here. Stubbs himself batted .243 in 2011, then saw his numbers fall to .213/.277/.333 in 2012. Reddick's strikeout numbers are less severe than Stubbs', but some caution is still in order.

There will be plenty of space in Oakland for Reddick, whether or not he and the A's consider an extension. The Oakland outfield is a little crowded now, with Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Chris Young all vying for time, but Reddick should be a higher priority than any of them, except perhaps Cespedes. (Reddick faded badly down the stretch in 2012, and the A's hope the addition of Young will help keep Reddick fresh.) The only top outfield prospect on the horizon is Michael Choice, who played for Double-A Midland in 2012.

The best path for the A's may be to take Reddick year-to-year for now. Because of his defensive value, a long-term deal would be unlikely to become a major mistake, and that's an important consideration for a financially-conscious team like the Athletics. And the A's would have more leverage to complete a deal now than they will next offseason, when Reddick will already be eligible for arbitration. But Reddick's contact ability is enough of a red flag that waiting a year, or at least a few months, to see how Reddick performs might be the better gamble, even if it ultimately costs them the ability to control his 2017 or 2018 seasons.


Transaction Retrospection: The Bailey-Reddick Trade

MLBTR is launching a new series entitled "Transaction Retrospection" in which we'll take a look back on trades that have taken place to see how the players involved — including low-level minor leaguers — have fared in new settings and how the involved teams have been impacted. Remember that you can always look back at the players involved in transactions and check in on them yourself using MLBTR's Transaction Tracker.

Oftentimes, as spectators of the game, we focus on the immediate impact of trades rather than the long-term impact that some major transactions have on the teams involved. For example, while some undoubtedly remember all of the players involved in last year's Andrew BaileyJosh Reddick trade between the Red Sox and Athletics, the majority of fans likely can't name all five players. The immediate impact was apparent in Reddick's success and Bailey's injuries, but there's more to this trade than just those two names.JoshReddick

The Athletics traded Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston in exchange for Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. Reddick's breakout and Bailey's breakdown are well-known, but let's look at each player's individual progress to date:

The Major League Side

  • Andrew Bailey: Bailey was supposed to take over as Boston's closer, but he would end up requiring thumb surgery in Spring Training and spend more than four months on the disabled list. Upon returning, he pitched to a disastrous 7.04 ERA in just 15 1/3 innings, walking eight and striking out 14 along the way. Bailey remains under team control through the 2014 season, so he'll have plenty of time to redeem himself and make this trade look better for Boston. However, he's been replaced as the closer following the offseason acquisition of Joel Hanrahan.
  • Ryan Sweeney: Sweeney went homerless in 219 plate appearances, batting .260/.303/.373 along the way. He played his typically strong brand of defense in Boston, posting an 11.6 UZR/150 and saving five runs over his 467 1/3 innings, per The Fielding Bible. Sweeney was non-tendered by the Red Sox this offseason but re-signed with the team on a minor league contract late last month.
  • Josh Reddick: Reddick exploded over the season's first half, batting a whopping .268/.348/.532 with 20 homers. While he slumped horribly in the second half, Reddick still finished with a .242/.305/.463 batting line with 32 homers. He was worth +22 runs per The Fielding Bible and posted an equally stellar 20.4 UZR/150. FanGraphs pegged Reddick's value at 4.8 wins above replacement. Reddick won't be arbitration eligible until after this coming season and is under team control through 2016.

The Prospect Side

  • Miles Head: Head ranks as the A's No. 7 prospect according to Baseball America and No. 9 according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. The 21-year-old primarily played third base in the Oakland organization, but also has experience at first base. He hit a ludicrous .382/.433/.715 with 18 homers in 67 games for High-A Stockton before being promoted to Double-A Midland. He held his own as a 21-year-old at Double-A, batting .272/.338/.404 but whiffed in 32.1 percent of his plate appearances. BA praises his quick, compact swing and "outstanding" bat control, which create enough power to profile as a corner infielder. Head's lack of range and athleticism leave his future at third base in doubt, according to BA.
  • Raul Alcantara: Alcantara ranks as the team's No. 26 prospect according to BA and No. 11 prospect according to MLB.com. After a dominant 2011 in Boston's organization, Alcantara struggled with Oakland's Class-A affiliate in Burlington in 2012. He pitched to a 5.08 ERA, 5.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 102 2/3 innings of work. BA has his fastball at 90-95 mph, and they also praise his change-up's depth and armside run. Both Mayo and BA agree that Alcantara's breaking pitches need work but praise his delivery and command. Alcantara turned 20 in December, so it would seem there's plenty of time to hone his secondary pitches and develop a bit more movement on his fastball.

The trade also had an impact on other players already in the organizations. Bailey's injury forced Alfredo Aceves into the closer's role in Boston for the first time, which had unspectacular results. The acquisition of Bailey was supposed to give the Red Sox enough depth to shift Daniel Bard into the starting rotation. Bard struggled, however, and when he returned to the bullpen after a Triple-A stint, he allowed 14 runs in six innings of relief pitching.

Reddick's acquisition, meanwhile, replaced the power production of the departing Josh Willingham — who signed as a free agent with the Twins — and vastly improved Oakland's outfield defense in the process. Willingham's departure, the Bailey trade and the Gio Gonzalez trade allowed the A's to invest four years and $36MM in Cuban hotshot Yoenis Cespedes.

The trade looks bleak for the Red Sox right now, but one of the beauties of transactions like this is the seemingly endless web they spin. For example, a strong season from Bailey could lead to another trade, causing the cycle to start all over again.

Baseball America's 2013 Prospect Handbook was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.