Reddick deserves All-Star recognition


Reddick deserves All-Star recognition

In the middle of the A's clubhouse over the course of the weekend was a box for the players' All-Star ballots. The ballots were sealed in an envelope and removed on Sunday. While the players didn't divulge who they voted for, A's manager Bob Melvin wasn't shy in admitting that Josh Reddick was one of his outfield submissions. Clearly the fans don't agree. Here are the latest numbers in the MLB All-Star voting for outfielders: OUTFIELDERS - ranked by voteJosh Hamilton, Rangers, 7,310,824- (.319, 22 HR, 64 RBI)
Curtis Granderson. Yankees, 3,812,339 - (.246, 21 HR, 41 RBI)
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays, 2,773,442 - (.237, 24 HR, 57 RBI)
Nelson Cruz, Rangers, 2,681,019 - (.258, 11 HR, 47 RBI)
Adam Jones, Orioles, 2,633,259 - (.300, 19 HR, 41 RBI)
David Murphy, Rangers, 1,738,805 - (.274, 7 HR, 25 RBI)
Nick Swisher, Yankees, 1,529,349 - (.268, 12 HR, 46 RBI)
Austin Jackson, Tigers, 1,212,881 - (.313, 7 HR, 30 RBI)
Jeff Francoeur, Royals, 1,183,817 - (.264, 6 HR, 20 RBI)
Brett Gardner, Yankees, 1,031,382 - (injured)
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners, 1,015,482 - (.273, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 10 SB)
Alex Gordon, Royals, 901,595 - (.264, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 41 Runs)
Nick Markakis. Orioles, 888,183 - (injured)
B.J. Upton, Rays, 881,785 - (.259, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 13 SB)
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, 775,261 - (injured)
Josh Reddick's name is suspiciously absent from that list. A glimpse at his numbers indicate that he deserves to be the first position player to represent the A's at the All-Star game since Ramon Hernandez in 2003. Reddick is batting .266 with 17 homers, and 38 RBI while playing in a pitcher's park. The Coliseum is also notoriously tough on left-handed hitters. Defensively he has five outfield assists, which tied him for first in the American League before the league took notice and stopped testing his arm. Reddick is second amongst AL outfielders in triples (4), tied for fifth in home runs (17) and runs (47), and tied for fourth in total bases (143). He also lifts the team when they need it the most. He is batting .295 (33 for 112) with nine home runs and 21 RBI with two outs. He is ranked second in the AL in two-out home runs. Reddick could help the AL All-Star team as a fourth or fifth outfielder. He has proven useful at the plate and defensively. With Ron Washington's decision to make Melvin one of the AL All-Star team coaches, his influence might be enough to get Reddick on the squad.Not DeservingThe All-Star game is for the fans, but fan voting is always suspect at best. Immediately, Markakis, Gardner, and Ellsbury can be removed from the list because they are currently injured. Gardner and Ellsbury have played in 16 games combined this season. Cruz, Murphy, Francouer, Suzuki, Gordon, and Upton are all underperforming this season. None of their numbers deserve All-Star recognition. Reddick's numbers trump almost all of their stats. Swisher and Jackson are ranked seventh and eighth respectively in fan voting. They are more deserving than the aforementioned players, but Reddick has played better than both of them. Deserving At 1 on the list, the fans got Josh Hamilton correct. There is no disputing what he has done. Curtis Granderson is hitting a paltry .246, and Jose Bautista's average is even worse at .237, but the rest of their numbers are clearly All-Star worthy. Adam Jones should be number two on the list. He is hitting .300, with 19 homers and 40 RBIs, and his .561 slugging percentage would rank him second-highest amongst the top vote-getters. Like Jones, Reddick hit 10 homers in the month of May. Not on the list but should beAside from Reddick, these are the outfielders that also should be considered All-Star caliber. Twins outfielder Josh Willingham's .390 on-base percentage is 10 points higher than Hamilton's (.380). He also has 15 homers, 49 RBIs and is hitting .275. Mark Trumbo is tied with Reddick for sixth in the AL with 17 home runs, his .980 OPS is the second-highest amongst outfielders in the league. The Angels slugger is also hitting .316. Angels rookie Mike Trout also deserves recognition, he is hitting .338, with seven home runs and 21 stolen bases.

New Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna takes jab at A's during media event


New Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna takes jab at A's during media event

While expressing his happiness to be with his new team, Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna took a swipe at the A’s during a media function in St. Louis on Sunday.

Ozuna’s name, you’ll remember, swirled in trade rumors earlier this offseason that he might be dealt from the Miami Marlins to Oakland. Instead, the two-time All-Star was traded to St. Louis, making him one of several big-name players Miami has shipped off as it looks to slash payroll.

While attending the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up event to preview this season, Ozuna was asked what it was like being dealt to a team that’s more focused on winning right away as opposed to the rebuilding Marlins.

“I feel happy about that,” Ozuna responded. “First thing when I heard they were trying to trade me to the Oakland A’s, I say … (long pause) Well, I say ‘God, please leave me over here.’ Then I heard they trade me to the Cardinals, I say ‘OK, thanks.’”


Well, it’s not the first time such an insult has been hurled the A’s way, whether directly or indirectly. Last winter, it came out that Matt Holliday — who spent part of 2009 with Oakland — had a no-trade clause included in his contract with the Yankees that prohibited him from being traded only to the A’s.

Is it surprising to hear Ozuna volunteer his thoughts about the A’s in a public forum? Perhaps.

Is it a shock that he’d feel that way in the first place? Definitely not.

It’s no secret the A’s reputation is one of a team that’s always looking to trade its best veteran players rather than spend the money to sign them long term. It’s also common knowledge that they play in an outdated ballpark that’s considered the worst in the majors.

No question, those are the dominant thoughts of players on the other 29 teams when they think of the A’s. And there’s no quick fix to that. National perception is tough to alter.

“Why doesn’t ownership just start spending more money on payroll?” you might ask. “That’s the best way to change perception.”

No arguments there, but we know from the past that isn’t going to happen. Clearly, majority owner John Fisher isn’t going to spend more freely on payroll — especially with the A’s being cut off from MLB’s revenue sharing system — unless he sees the potential for other forms of revenue to stream in.

It all points back to the critical need for the A’s to identify a ballpark site and begin construction on a new home. That will send a message around the majors that a plan is in motion, that better days are ahead.

Until then, the A’s can expect to absorb the occasional jab like that delivered by Ozuna. On the bright side for Oakland fans, they might have just identified Public Enemy No. 2, a player who can slot in right behind Holliday as their favorite opponent to vilify.

A's, Khris Davis avoid arbitration, but is this a long-term union?


A's, Khris Davis avoid arbitration, but is this a long-term union?

The A’s took care of a big piece of business with their top run producer, signing slugger Khris Davis to a one-year contract Wednesday and avoiding arbitration.

FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported the sides settled on a $10.5 million salary. That’s more than double the $5 million Davis made last season in his first trip through the arbitration process, but a huge raise was expected after Davis put up more monster numbers in his second year with Oakland.

His 43 home runs in 2017 ranked second in the American League and he was third in RBI with 110. Consider that Davis is the only major leaguer to crack the 40-homer mark in each of the past two seasons, and only Giancarlo Stanton has more total homers during that span (86 to Davis’ 85).

That obviously makes the 30-year-old Davis a valuable commodity.

“Back to back 40-homer years in this ballpark. You guys don’t talk about it enough,” A’s executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane said in October. “When we acquired him (in a trade from Milwaukee) we knew we got a guy with a lot of power. I think we were thinking a 30-homer guy. The fact he’s gone 40 back-to-back is pretty amazing. He fits in perfectly here. I think having that big bat that Khris brings helps guys like (Matt) Olson and (Matt) Chapman.”

So it’s clear the A’s value Davis, and that’s why he hasn’t been traded thus far, as many around the game speculated he might be this winter. But where do things go moving forward?

He’ll be eligible for arbitration one more time next winter before he’s able to test free agency heading into the 2020 season. If you’re an A’s fan, you know where this is going. If July hits and the A’s are floundering in the standings, Davis no doubt will be a trade candidate. He’d have appeal as a proven slugger who would remain under team control for 2019.

But Davis is a rare breed. He loves playing in Oakland and doesn’t hide that fact. The pitcher-friendly Coliseum has done nothing to suppress his power. In fact, he’s thrived. His 26 home runs at the Coliseum in 2017 fell one short of Jason Giambi’s Oakland record for homers by a home player.

It would seem he’d be open to a long-term extension, and the sides reportedly have held past discussions about one. The A’s have designs on signing some of their younger core players to extensions. But you’d have to rank it as a surprise were they to actually complete an extension with Davis, given the money he would command.

More than likely, Beane and his staff will evaluate the team through the first half of the upcoming season, weigh the pros and cons of dealing him, and if he stays, enter through this arbitration process again next winter, knowing that he’ll command even more bucks on another one-year deal.

An ‘X’ factor is how Davis adjusts to his shift from left field to designated hitter. He told NBC Sports California in November that he prefers the outfield but will fill whatever role is best for the team.

The feeling here is that he’ll put up the same numbers that fans have grown accustomed to, and the ball will be in the A’s court as to how long he remains in green and gold.