The Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Josh Reddick to a minors contract, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Reddick will receive $750K in guaranteed salary if he makes the team’s Major League roster.
It was a quiet offseason for Reddick news, as there weren’t any publicly-known reports of teams interested in the 34-year-old’s services on the free agent market. Reddick’s contract with the D’Backs could have been aided by a couple of personal connections — as Piecoro notes, both GM Mike Hazen and assistant GM Ariel Sawdaye were both working in the Red Sox organization when Reddick began his career in Boston.
A veteran of 12 big league seasons with the Red Sox, Athletics, Dodgers, and Astros, Reddick comes to Arizona on the heels of a four-year, $52MM free agent contract with Houston signed prior to the 2017 season. Reddick arguably delivered on that commitment in the first season alone, hitting .314/.363/.484 over 540 PA to help the Astros capture the 2017 World Series title.
Over the last three years, however, Reddick has produced at a below-average (92 OPS+, 96 wRC+) pace, hitting .258/.318/.400 over 1247 PA. He also became essentially a reverse-splits player, with his left-handed bat doing better against southpaws than against right-handed pitching.
Reddick will provide some outfield depth to a D’Backs team that is missing its best player in Ketel Marte, who is on the injured list with a strained hamstring. Reddick could theoretically see a bit of center field action in a pinch, but is better served as a corner outfielder, though his right field defense took a big dropoff last season in the view of the Outs Above Average (-5), Defensive Runs Saved (-3) and UZR/150 (-22.3) metrics. The Diamondbacks don’t have much in the way of experience among their backup outfield options, though like Reddick, Josh Rojas, Josh VanMeter, and Pavin Smith are all left-handed hitters. (Corner outfield starters David Peralta and Kole Calhoun also swing from the left side of the plate.)