Josh Reddick Rumors
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.
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.
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 Bailey-Josh 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.
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.
The Red Sox obtained Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney from the Athletics yesterday, sending Josh Reddick, Miles Head and Raul Alcantara to Oakland. Here's the latest on the Red Sox as reaction to and analysis of the trade continues...
- Ryan Kalish says he had left shoulder surgery in November in addition to his September neck operation, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Kalish may be ready for game action by May or June, but he doesn’t have a clear timetable. The Red Sox have Sweeney and Darnell McDonald in right, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them pursue other options.
- The Red Sox never got the sense that Ryan Madson’s price was going to drop enough to make him a viable option, tweets Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
- Bailey would have been traded to Texas if the Red Sox hadn't included Reddick in the deal, Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets.
- The Red Sox are now shooting for a starter, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman lists Hiroki Kuroda, Matt Garza, Roy Oswalt, Joe Saunders and Edwin Jackson as possibilities.
- Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett told FanGraphs' David Laurila that Head can hit despite the fact that "he's not going to win any beauty contests." Jim Callis of Baseball America told Laurila that Head's stocky frame makes him difficult to project. "I do think he can hit, but he’s limited to playing first base and you just don’t see that many 5'10", 5'11" first basemen in the big leagues," he said.
- ESPN.com's Keith Law says Oakland got fair value for Bailey, whose health is an unknown, and Sweeney, whose raw power hasn't translated during games. Reddick provides the Athletics with additional years of control and Head and Alcantara could also prove useful. However, the Red Sox aren't likely to miss the trio of players they gave up and they obtained a proven closer.
The Red Sox have acquired Andrew Bailey from the Athletics in a trade that will send Josh Reddick to Oakland and Ryan Sweeney to Boston, the teams announced. First base prospect Miles Head and right-handed pitching prospect Raul Alcantara are going to Oakland in the deal.
Bailey (pictured) figures to replace longtime closer Jonathan Papelbon at the back of Boston's bullpen in 2012. The 27-year-old right-hander posted a 3.24 ERA with 8.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 37.1% ground ball rate in 41 2/3 innings in 2011 after recovering a forearm strain that sidelined him early on in the season. MLBTR projects a $3.5MM salary for Bailey in 2012. The two-time All-Star and 2009 AL Rookie of the Year is under team control through 2014.
Reddick, 24, posted a .280/.327/.457 line in 278 plate appearances for the Red Sox this past season. The left-handed hitter got his first extended shot at Major League pitching in 2011, after posting a .278/.332/.500 line in parts of five minor leagues seasons. Reddick has big league experience at all three outfield positions and figures to get the chance to play every day in Oakland. He's under team control through 2016 and won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 campaign.
Sweeney, 27 in February, played all three outfield positions for the Athletics in 2011, posting a .265/.346/.341 line in 299 plate appearances. He has experience in parts of six big league seasons and will remain under team control through 2013. Sweeney's career UZR/150 of 9.2 suggests he's an above-average defender, and his numbers in right field are particularly impressive. MLBTR projects a 2012 salary of $1.6MM for Sweeney through arbitration.
Sweeney's a left-handed hitter who has a solid career line of .296/.352/.402 against right-handed pitching. However, GM Ben Cherington may want to pair him with someone who can hit left-handers given his career .233/.306/.289 line against southpaws. Ryan Kalish and Darnell McDonald (.285/.348/.451 career line against lefties) are internal candidates for the Red Sox to consider and right-handed hitting free agents Ryan Spilborghs and Cody Ross could also be fits.
The Red Sox selected Head, now 20, in the 26th round of the 2009 draft. He has posted a .274/.351/.446 line in 861 minor league plate appearances over the course of the past three seasons, but has yet to reach Double-A. Alcantara, who recently turned 19, has a 2.72 ERA with 6.0 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 as a starter in 125 2/3 minor league innings. However, he has just four appearances above Rookie Ball.
Bailey will join the recently-acquired Mark Melancon in a new-look Red Sox bullpen. Boston may move Daniel Bard to the rotation and Alfredo Aceves might also start, but Matt Albers, Scott Atchison, Bobby Jenks and Franklin Morales are candidates to contribute out of the bullpen in 2012.
8:49am: The talks are not that far along and the A's have not asked for Middlebrooks, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The A's would need more, but WEEI's Alex Speier tweets that they've liked Lars Anderson, Raul Alcantara, and Brandon Workman. Things are currently quiet on the Bailey-Red Sox trade front, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.
6:39am: The A's asked the Red Sox for third base prospect Will Middlebrooks, writes the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. It's probably safe to assume that Middlebrooks, 23, is not one of the prospects mentioned in Gammons' proposal.
5:01am: Peter Gammons of MLB Network tweets that the Athletics are considering a trade offer from the Red Sox that includes Josh Reddick and prospects in exchange for Andrew Bailey. Jed Lowrie is not in this proposal.
The 24-year-old Reddick appeared at all three outfield spots for the Sox in 2011 (earning stellar reviews from UZR and DRS in an admittedly small sample) and hit a solid .280/.327/.457 in 278 plate appearances.
The A's stand to lose their entire starting outfield of David DeJesus (already signed with the Cubs), Coco Crisp, and Josh Willingham to free agency this offseason, so it makes sense that they would have interest in controllable outfielders.
The two teams were reportedly set to meet on Tuesday to discuss a potential Bailey trade, though is is the first we've heard of the results.
Two AL East teams brought in new general managers this offseason and a third club faces the possibility that its GM will leave for another team. Here are some notes from the division, starting in New York City, where Brian Cashman has been running the Yankees since 1998...
- Though the Yankees would have interest in Matt Garza, they aren’t having high-level trade talks with any team about starting pitchers, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Cubs appear to be willing to listen on Garza, who’s under team control through 2013.
- Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale is the Orioles' top choice to be their next third base coach, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). Hale, who is still under contract in Boston, is considering the Orioles' job.
- The Red Sox have gotten some play on 24-year-old outfielder Josh Reddick, according to Yahoo’s Tim Brown. Should Boston sign Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Beltran or Michael Cuddyer, GM Ben Cherington might part with Reddick, who posted a .784 OPS in 278 plate appearances while playing all three outfield positions this past season.
Everyone in baseball expects the Cubs to offer Theo Epstein their GM job, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link) and a slight majority expect that the Red Sox GM would turn such an offer down. Here are today's Red Sox-related links...
- Former manager Terry Francona appeared on WEEI's The Big Show and explained that he considers Boston's ownership "second to none." Francona acknowledged that he and Epstein "butted heads" at times, not that it’s a surprising admission given the public, stressful nature of their jobs. Francona added that he's interested in managing in the right situation next year.
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com looks back to 2002, when the Red Sox, then under new ownership, tried to end their championship drought by hiring an established GM (Billy Beane of the A's). If that sounds familiar, it's because the Cubs now want Epstein to end their title drought.
- Bradford also explores the issue of compensation - it was discussed nine years ago and would come up again since Epstein is under contract in 2012.
- The Boston Herald looks ahead to next year's outfield and says the Red Sox will look to add a younger, more durable player to replace J.D. Drew. Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish are internal options for Boston.
In the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal, we learn how this year's trade deadline could have turned out drastically different..
- The Rockies wanted five of Boston's top prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez: Will Middlebrooks, Kyle Weiland, Josh Reddick, Felix Doubront, and Ryan Lavarnway. The Red Sox would have gotten more than just Jimenez in return as Rosenthal tweets that the Rockies offered Jimenez and outfielder Seth Smith in return for the quintet of prospects. There were other possible fits in such a deal including Ryan Spilborghs, Chris Iannetta, and Rafael Betancourt.
- The Rangers had enough prospects to get Carlos Beltran in addition to Koji Uehara and Mike Adams at the deadline. To do that, they would have needed to take either Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland out of the Adams deal as the Mets are fond of both. Rosenthal was told that one of the two pitchers was in the offer for Beltran.
- The Indians traded their two best pitching prospects to land ace Ubaldo Jimenez but the deal wasn't just for this season. Cleveland is mindful of the big picture and they have their key pieces locked up for the next few years. Jimenez, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Shin-Soo Choo are under control for the next two seasons while Justin Masterson and Chris Perez are under control for the next three. If the Tribe doesn't win in the next few years, they can always flip some of those players for prospects.
The Twins were willing to listen to offers for Francisco Liriano leading up to the trade deadline, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. However, Minnesota wanted a massive prospect return for the left-hander and no club met their asking price. Here’s the latest on the Twins with more of Stark’s notes from around MLB...
- The chances that the Nationals can restart talks with Minnesota about Denard Span over the winter are not good, Stark reports. Minnesota wanted Drew Storen for their bullpen in an attempt to win now, but the Twins’ sense of urgency figures to disappear this offseason.
- Rival teams say the Tigers and Red Sox each believed they were closing in on a deal for Hiroki Kuroda before the right-hander decided not to waive his no-trade clause.
- The Red Sox and Rockies discussed an expanded deal that would have sent Josh Reddick to Colorado and Seth Smith to Boston while considering possible moves involving Ubaldo Jimenez. Talks between the 2007 World Series foes had essentially stopped by Saturday, though.
- Though GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has publicly said Domonic Brown was not available, Stark hears from three different teams that the Phillies were willing to move the young outfielder in the right deal.
- Teams that have spoken with the Phillies don’t expect them to be active on the waiver wire this month, since they want to avoid paying MLB’s luxury tax.