Reddick, 34, will now appear in the majors for the thirteenth consecutive season. Signed by the Astros to a four-year, $52MM free agent contract during the 2016-17 offseason, Reddick made an immediate impact on Houston’s 2017 World Series club. The veteran hit a very strong .314/.363/.484 across 540 plate appearances that year. He remained the Astros primary right fielder over the next three seasons, although he never again found the same level of productivity. Between 2018-20, the left-handed hitter slashed .258/.318/.400.
Once an elite corner outfielder, Reddick saw his defensive metrics go in the wrong direction in 2020. Each of Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) and Statcast’s Outs Above Average (OAA) agreed he had a difficult time tracking down fly balls last season. DRS rated Reddick as three runs worse than the average right fielder, while UZR pegged him at eight runs below average. Statcast, meanwhile, estimated Reddick got to five fewer plays than expected, placing him in the second percentile among outfielders league wide.
Advanced defensive metrics are shaky in small samples and Reddick rated highly as a defender as recently as 2019, so it’s possible the former Gold Glover can rebound somewhat in the grass. Still, Reddick’s sprint speeds have dropped as he’s gotten into his mid-30’s, so his peak is almost certainly behind him. Arizona is without expected starting right fielder Kole Calhoun due to hamstring surgery, though, so Reddick should add a capable bat to the corner outfield mix. He hit .245/.316/.378 with the Astros last year, albeit with a concerning uptick in strikeouts.
Reddick signed a minors deal with Arizona last month and got off to a solid start with Triple-A Reno, slashing .304/.365/.478 in 52 plate appearances. By making the MLB roster, he’ll lock in a prorated portion of a $750K salary.
López’s designation could close the book on an up-and-down tenure in Phoenix. A high-profile international amateur signee, he struggled as a starter in the minors but showed some promise after a bullpen transfer. The hard-throwing righty tossed 60 2/3 innings of 3.41 ERA ball in 2019, albeit with less inspiring peripherals. López has been rather home run and walk prone over the last two seasons, resulting in a ghastly 6.19 ERA in 32 combined frames.
To his credit, López is actually generating strikeouts and whiffs at a career-best mark so far this season. He still averages a strong 95.9 MPH on his heater. The 28-year-old also has all three minor league option years remaining, meaning any club that acquires could shuttle him back and forth between the majors and Triple-A over the next few years. Given López’s prospect pedigree, arm strength and roster flexibility, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another club take a flyer on him in the coming days. The D-Backs will have a week to trade him or expose him to the waiver wire.