10:16pm: The A’s gave the Halos “a flat ’no'” when Reddick was brought up, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds. Notably, per the report, Los Angeles also inquired about Ben Zobrist, adding to the laundry list of teams with at least some interest in the useful veteran.
5:44pm: The Angels have been on the lookout for corner outfield help, and MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that the team had discussions with the Athletics regarding Josh Reddick prior to the resignation of now-former Angels GM Jerry Dipoto (all links to Twitter). According to Gonzalez, the Angels tried to get the Red Sox involved to act as a liaison — acting in a similar fashion to the Dodgers in the team’s essential three-team Howie Kendrick trade this winter — but Boston wasn’t interested.
Specific names that were discussed haven’t been revealed, but Gonzalez reports that talks never got too far off the ground. However, the report is interesting in light of Reddick’s more recent comments regarding the Athletics’ front office and his playing time (or lack thereof) against left-handed pitching. Via CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich, Reddick expressed frustration recently that he’s been held out of the lineup against left-handed pitching. In a radio appearance with Ray Fosse on 95.7 The Game in Oakland, Reddick was not shy about voicing some displeasure:
“It doesn’t come from anywhere in this clubhouse. Everybody knows what situations our general manager puts up there. … There’s probably so many numbers they could dig into their computers with and try to find one just to keep me out of the lineup. … I know [manager] Bob [Melvin]’s in there fighting for me. The other day I was supposed to play against De La Rosa, and Bob texts me at around 1:30 and told me he had been ‘trumped,’ was the word he used. I understood right away. … It still frustrates me beyond belief when I don’t play.”
Melvin told Stiglich that he is the one responsible for the lineup card, not the front office, and that he “got ahead of himself” in telling Reddick he’d be playing that day. “…I backtracked and told him you’re not playing now. And maybe to an extent he thought I was so-called trumped.”
Reddick did walk his comments back slightly, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, though he did not waver from his feelings on playing time. “Bottom line, I want to be out there every day, no matter who’s on the mound,” said Reddick. “That was the message. How it came out may not have been how I wanted it to come out. Some miscommunication between me and Bob. I probably just assumed too much. … Who knows at this point how things are worked out? But I talked to Bob and we got a handle on it between the two of us.”
Platoons have long been commonplace in Oakland, and it seems that players there generally buy into the idea of part-time roles, though it’s not surprising to hear that any player would want to be in the lineup on a more regular basis. Reddick’s struggles against left-handed pitching, though, have been extensive. He’s batting .329/.384/.527 against righties this year but just .159/.227/.232 in 75 plate appearances against lefties. While a 75-PA sample is far too small to make a full assessment, Reddick’s lifetime slash line against same-handed pitching is .220/.283/.379, and the vast majority of that production came back in 2011-12. It’s certainly possible that fewer reps and more limited exposure to left-handed pitching have caused his skills in that regard to diminish, of course, but dating back to 2013, Reddick is hitting .198/.276/.296 in 328 turns at bat vs. lefties.
To what extent the Angels will remain interested following the abrupt departure of Dipoto isn’t known. The team still has a need to acquire left-handed bats and has received only a collective .220/.279/.319 batting line from its left fielders in 2015. Reddick is primarily a right fielder — and a good one at that, though defensive marks are a bit down on him in 2015 — so perhaps Kole Calhoun could slide to left field in the event that the division rivals match up down the road.
As for the A’s, it remains to be seen how interested the club will be in dealing away Reddick if it comes time to sell. The 28-year-old is controllable for another season through arbitration after earning a rather reasonable $4.1MM this year. Players like Ben Zobrist and Scott Kazmir have received more attention as possible trade pieces, in large part because they will become free agents after the season. But Oakland will surely at least entertain the possibility of a move involving Reddick, who could be in fairly high demand.