ANAHEIM — It appears the A’s haven’t yet given up on the idea of signing right fielder Josh Reddick to a contract extension.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday morning that the A’s will re-visit negotiations with Reddick’s representatives before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. That doesn’t necessarily suggest any greater likelihood of a deal getting done than when the sides originally tried to hammer out a deal in spring training.
The biggest obstacle may be Reddick’s ability to hit the open market at season’s end and explore free agency for the first time. This winter’s free agent class isn’t viewed as a particularly strong one, with the 29-year-old Reddick setting up as one of the top hitters available if he doesn’t sign an extension with Oakland. There’s speculation he could net a free agent deal that approaches the neighborhood of $100 million.
Can the A’s offer a multi-year package that entices him to stay?
Should he come back healthy from a fractured left thumb and be productive in the coming weeks, he provides the A’s a nice trade chip. However, if they don’t trade Reddick, the A’s could extend him a one-year qualifying offer — which Reddick would seem very likely to turn down — and if he signs elsewhere as a free agent, they would gain an extra first-round draft pick as compensation. That would also appear very attractive to the A’s.
The expectation was for Reddick to be activated from the disabled list in time to play in Monday’s series opener against the Giants. But A’s manager Bob Melvin said Sunday morning that his return could be delayed. Reddick’s thumb feels fine, but he’s not feeling great at the plate yet, according to Melvin. Reddick is just 1-for-16 with six strikeouts during a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville, and he’s going to play with Nashville again Sunday night, which wasn’t part of the original plan.