Josh Reddick has made the full transition from green and gold to navy blue and orange.
He’s a Houston Astro through and through, and he thinks he landed in an ideal spot when he signed a four-year $52 million contract with Houston last winter.
But the former A’s outfielder still maintains he had a strong desire to sign a long-term extension with Oakland before he was dealt away at last summer’s trade deadline.
In a sit-down chat for the A’s Insider Podcast, Reddick says that despite the team’s history of trading their free agents-to-be or letting them walk, he held out hope that the A’s might buck that trend and re-sign him.
“Early on I thought there might have been a slim chance,” Reddick said. “… It was definitely somewhere I really wanted to make it happen. Once we realized the numbers weren’t gonna line up, I think I knew deep down it wasn’t gonna happen because I didn’t hear back from them after I counter-offered what they offered me.
“You learn to live with it, you expect it from those guys. But I guess deep down I kind of had a special feeling they might have made an (exception) for me.”
Reddick said the A’s never presented an offer that reached four years in length, which was important to him to get.
To be fair, the A’s had reason to be hesitant to sign the 30-year-old Reddick to a four-year deal. He missed significant time with injuries over his four-plus seasons in Oakland. And in packaging him and left-handed starter Rich Hill in a trade to the Dodgers, they scored an excellent return package in right-handers Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes, bolstering a system that needed more quality young pitching.
Among other highlights from the podcast, Reddick still is perplexed that the A’s traded off so many key players in the offseason following their 2014 Wild Card loss to the Royals. Third baseman Josh Donaldson, starter Jeff Samardzija, first baseman Brandon Moss and catcher Derek Norris, all All-Stars in ’14, were dealt the following winter.
“We still had (Scott) Kazmir, we had Sonny, and Samardzija was coming back,” Reddick said. “If you put Donaldson back in the lineup, Moss back in the lineup, it just changes the whole outcome and we probably don’t finish in dead last like we did that year. You just never know. And to this day I still don’t see how it made sense for that (Donaldson) trade to work, but luckily I’m just a player and not a manager or GM.”
In his first experience with free agency last winter, Reddick was happy he and the Astros hammered out a deal in November, taking away the stress of spending the bulk of the offseason wondering where he’d land.
“On a team like this, with this lineup and this hitter-friendly ballpark, it’s kind of hard to turn it down because they did come so aggressively and made it clear I was their No. 1 option. … When a team comes at you like that, it kind of makes your job easier and your decision a lot easier.”