10:47pm: There are no indications that the A’s and Reddick are anywhere near an extension, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Reddick is likely aiming for a deal worth upward of $15MM per annum for four-plus years, while the A’s are in the three-year, $30MM ballpark, according to Slusser.
12:24pm: The Athletics will re-open negotiations with Josh Reddick about a contract extension prior to the August 1 trade deadline, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter links). If the two sides can’t reach an agreement to keep Reddick in Oakland beyond the 2016 season, it increases the chances that Reddick will be dealt. That said, Rosenthal notes that the A’s “are comfortable” in keeping Reddick for the rest of the season and issuing him a qualifying offer, which would net the club a first-round draft pick as compensation if Reddick signed elsewhere in free agency.
Reddick and the A’s engaged in some talks during Spring Training, with Rosenthal reporting that negotiations stalled over contract length — the club wanted a three-year extension while the right fielder was looking for four years. Reddick said he told his agents (Sam and Seth Levinson of ACES) that he didn’t want to personally involve himself in discussions unless a deal was close, which would seem to indicate that talks didn’t get too close to the goal line before the season began.
Of course, Reddick’s biggest concern at the moment is getting healthy, as he has been out of action since mid-May due to a fractured left thumb. He is currently on a minor league rehab assignment that could rejoin the A’s as soon as Monday. Before the injury, Reddick was enjoying a big season (.322/.394/.466 with five homers in 165 PA) that was boosting his stock as both a midseason trade chip and as a major offseason signing.
Prior to the season, MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes speculated that Reddick could land a five-year deal in the $100MM range in free agency, both due to his talents and due to an overall lack of hitting depth on the open market next winter. That asking price could dip a bit due to Reddick’s DL stint, though he still has plenty of season left to establish his health.
If he keeps producing, he’ll certainly top a three-year deal, so the A’s may have trouble offering a fair extension that would entice Reddick to stay. The Athletics have rarely moved to extend veterans near free agency in the Billy Beane era, and barring a major about-face in payroll management, it would seem unlikely that the A’s would be a player for Reddick if he were to hit free agency. Since the A’s seem confident they’ll receive at least a first-rounder back for Reddick in QO compensation, other teams will have to top that return if they’re interested in landing Reddick before the deadline.