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The Case for Josh Reddick 

President & CEO Mike Dee, photo courtesy of CBS Sports

Yesterday, Glen Miller of The Friairhood wrote about the Padres search for a left-handed bat. He suggested that we dip into the free agent pool this off-season and trade away one of our highest paid players to help clear room on the payroll. Miller’s plan is well thought out, however, I believe the Padres should take a different approach this winter, and instead should look for a left-handed bat through the trade market. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

So far this off-season, the Padres have kept themselves on the down low in the free agent market and in trade talks. Early on, they were reported to have interest in Angels 1B/OF Mark Trumbo, but nothing ever developed. Minus speculation, the Padres haven’t been connected to much else since. However, thanks to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, we know what Padres GM Josh Byrnes believes are the team’s biggest needs heading into 2014:  1) LH Reliever 2) LH Bat 3) Better Health 4) General Up-Grades. 

A left-handed reliever is an obvious need after Joe Thatcher was traded last summer to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal for right-handed starter Ian Kennedy. Number two on Byrnes’ off-season wish list might not be so obvious to some however: “A left-handed hitter? But we have guys like Alonso and Venable, and switch-hitters like Headley, Cabrera, and Grandal.” Most of those players missed some time in 2013 with injuries and/or suspensions, but the bottom line is the Padres batted .241 against right-handed pitchers last season. Better than only five other MLB teams: the Cubs, Twins, Mets, Astros, and Marlins.

The Padres aren’t expected to be very active in free agency this winter, so if they want to seriously address their need for a left-handed bat, it will likely be through a trade. When I think about a young talented left-handed hitter, I think about OFs Jay Bruce, Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, and Jason Heyward, but to be more realistic, a player that makes a lot of sense is Athletics OF Josh Reddick.

First off, Reddick is still pretty young (turns 27 next February), and secondly, according to Edward Creech of MLBTradeRumors.com, Reddick should make about $2.2MM next year through arbitration, which the Padres can easily afford. Now, what can we expect from him on the field though?

For those who don’t know, Reddick was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2006 and spent parts of three season with them from 2009-2011 before being traded to the Athletics where he earned the starting right field job in 2012. That season, he played in 156 games and posted a .242/.305/.463 slash line with 85 runs scored, 32 home runs, 85 runs batted in, and 155 strikeouts. Even with a low batting average and on-base percentage and a high strikeout rate, he is still a threat at the plate because of his surprise pop, and he is also an asset in the outfield (2012 Gold Glover). He’s listed at about 6’2″, 180 lbs, and while he doesn’t have the physical presence of a Giancarlo Stanton, he has got some serious pull power which could bode well at Petco Park with the new “Jack Deck” in right field. According to Baseball-Reference.com, 50 of Reddick’s career 54 home runs were hit to the right side (40 to right field and 10 to right-center). 

So lets look at the pros and cons list:
Pros:
– Age
– Salary
– Power
– Defense
Cons:
– Batting Average
– On-base Percentage
– Strikeouts

Health is a “?” right now because he didn’t get an opportunity to be an everyday starter until 2012 where he showed he was very durable. However, in 2013, he injured his wrist a couple times and played in only 114 games. He had surgery after the season and is expected to be ready for spring training. 

The “Jack Deck” could do wonders for Reddick just like it did for Will Venable last season. I hope Byrnes and/or President and CEO Mike Dee (pictured above) are on the phones trying to get something done. Reddick just seems like a great fit for the Padres. Enough of what I think though. What are your thoughts about Reddick as a possible acquisition this off-season?

Comments

comments

About the author: Brad Beattie

San Diego born and raised. Love the Padres, the Chargers, and all things (for the most part) San Diego. Will continue to follow San Diego sports through both the ups and down, and I hope to hear your opinions as you follow them too.

  • loleta dude

    Good article. Who would be the trade bait?

    • Brad Beattie

      Reddick is valuable, but given his down year last season and that he has a career average of just .239 and an on-base % of .302, the Padres shouldn’t have to surrender either of their top two prospects (Max Fried and Austin Hedges). Robbie Erlin, Burch Smith, and Matt Wisler should be of interest to Billy Beane. I could also see the A’s being a good fit for OF Jaff Decker. Looks like he doesn’t have much of a future in the Padres OF, but he’s very disciplined at the plate, showed some good at-bats last season despite what the numbers might say. He’ll draw many walks, and the A’s love on-base %. He could be a good 4th/5th OF for them.

      • Beersy

        If the Padres were to trade Wisler for Reddick, it may go down as the worst trade in Padres history. Wisler could be the Padres 2nd best prospect after the last two seasons he has had and trading him for a player like Reddick would be crazy. I like the idea of Reddick but not at that price.

        • Brad Beattie

          I wouldn’t want the Padres to trade Wisler either for Reddick. I’m just saying that the A’s are going to ask about him for sure. They’re not trying to get rid of Reddick. He’s also more valuable because he is under team control through 2016.

  • Christopher Hinkson

    Wasn’t Burns part of the Front Office group in Boston during 2005 & 2006? If so he was in on the drafting in 2006 more than likely.. If so he knows a great deal about Reddick and what he brings to the table.

    • Brad Beattie

      Byrnes was actually hired by ARI before the 2006 season. Doesn’t mean he didn’t help scout Reddick though.

  • Christopher Hinkson

    I’d say their best bargaining chip is Headley… Maybe Venable moves to CF and Headley goes to Oakland for Reddick and Reddick takes over RF for SD and Headley goes to Oakland to be traded for more depth or another OF (or stays and starts at RF and fills in for Donaldson at 3B here and there)..

    • Brad Beattie

      Headley is too much to give up just for Reddick.

  • http://www.friarhood.com/ Steve Adler

    Whiskey Deck!

  • joeluis31

    we have a guy named Will Venable who, btw, put better numbers last season then Reddick…remember, avoid to make moves, just because to make a move

    • Brad Beattie

      I’m not saying Venable should lose time. Maybe Venable can alternate between CF and RF. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the nod as the Opening Day CF.

  • Javier Ochoa

    The problem is we have a crowded outfield that we cant get rid of. Quenton-no trade. Maybin-financially committed and no takers and Venable- just signed ( for some reason).

    • Brad Beattie

      Quentin is likely to miss time again. It’s difficult, to say the least, for him to stay healthy as an everyday OF. The Padres tried giving him days off every few days or so last season, but he still missed about half the season. They might want to think about almost platooning him in LF. Hopefully that can help him stay healthy. Plus, when he doesn’t start, the Padres could use him as a designated PH. They have to prepare for the inevitable.