With so many 2021 MLB free agents this offseason, Josh Reddick is looking for a place to play in 2021. The former Houston Astro outfielder elected free agency after spending the past four seasons with the Astros. During his 12-year career, Reddick has played for four teams; the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, and most recently, the Houston Astros.
2021 MLB Free Agents: Player Profile
Boston Red Sox
Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 17th round of the 2006 MLB draft, Reddick was called up to the big leagues in July of 2009. A short stint in 2009, but Reddick collected his first hit in the big leagues before being sent back down to AAA in early August 2009. In both 2010 and 2011, Reddick started the season in AAA, but managed to be called up again and was able to stay in the big leagues following the Boston Red Sox designating Mike Cameron for assignment in June of 2011, which led to Reddick being on the roster for the remainder of the season. That offseason, Reddick was traded to the Oakland Athletics.
Going into the 2012 season, Reddick was primed for a breakout year. Having spent time between the minors and big leagues with Boston, Reddick was ready to assume a full-time role as the Athletics starting right fielder. That season, the Oakland Athletics made the postseason for the first since 2006, losing 3-2 in the ALDS to the Detroit Tigers, who went on to win the American League Pennant and would play the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. Reddick would finish the 2012 season with 32 home runs and 85 RBIs; both would be career records. Reddick would also go on to win his first American League Gold Glove in right field.
Ready to pick up where he left off in 2012, Reddick started the season in right field for the Athletics until a wrist injury landed him on the disabled list in May of 2013. Being on the disabled list would prove to be significant as his numbers declined. Throughout the 2013 season, Reddick would spend time between the majors and minors on rehab assignments as he worked through the wrist injury. Ultimately, Reddick would require surgery, which would keep him out midway through the 2014 season. Reddick would eventually be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August of 2016.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On August 1, 2016, Reddick was informed that he was traded to the Dodgers for a pitchers’ trio. Nothing much would pan out during his tenure with the Dodgers due to Reddick electing free agency after the 2016 season.
In November of 2016, the Houston Astros would sign Reddick to a four-year contract worth $52 million. The Houston Astros were starting to prepare for a championship run. Given the success that Reddick had against right-handed pitching, the stable but consistent left-handed hitting Reddick would prove to be beneficial in that lineup as Reddick led the league with sacrifice flies all while batting .314. Reddick would go on during that 2017 season to help the Houston Astros win their first World Series Championship. Of course, we all know what would come about after the 2019 season and the scandal that rocked MLB.
After the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the numbers started to decline for Reddick, which meant that the organization would begin to move in a different direction when the Astros called up Kyle Tucker in the summer of 2019. Tucker thrived after being called up in 2019, which meant that there would be a competitive battle as to who would play right field given that both Reddick and Tucker played the position and were both left-handed batters.
The 2020 season proved to be a season for the ages for the Houston Astros. An offseason rocked by a scandal led to the firing of former manager AJ Hinch and General Manager Jeff Luhnow. In comes new manager Dusty Baker ready to take over a team coming off of their second World Series appearance in two years, all while trying to navigate the murky waters that lie ahead. Injuries plagued the Houston Astros, which meant guys like Reddick would be platooning with other players to get playing time.
2021 MLB Free Agents: Potential Landing Spots
The Houston Astros will need to go out and find outfielders this offseason. With the pending departure of George Springer and the possibility of Michael Brantley leaving, the outfield position will need to be addressed. Now, the Astros have Tucker and Mile Straw, but they will need a veteran presence to command the outfield. Straw is young with lots of speed that can play center field but still lacks the experience. Reddick would be able to fill that void in the outfield if they are unable to go out and sign Jackie Bradley Jr. or George Springer.
If the Astros were to sign Reddick, this would be a temporary solution. The Astros can sign Reddick to the veterans league minimum given that he has already reached that status, and would also be able to save money, something General Manager James Click would like to do. Although this scenario does not bode well for Reddick, it would be considered due to the prolonged offseason market.
With Francisco Lindor off to the New York Mets, the Indians have waived the white flag to signal that they are in a full rebuild mode. To keep the cost down, the Indians can get players like Reddick to fill a position while keeping the price down. Reddick will bring that veteran presence as well as a left-handed bat. This scenario could have the making of a Michael Brantley 2.0 for the Indians.
With new manager AJ Hinch at the helm in Detroit, the Tigers would be a perfect fit for Reddick. Pairing Reddick with his former manager would give Reddick the confidence to get back to the Reddick we all saw in 2017. The Tigers have some money coming off the books this offseason, which means they would be willing to spend a little more. This only issue would be that the Tigers went out and signed Robbie Grossman to a two-year contract worth $10 million, but this does not mean Reddick cannot come in and compete with Grossman. This would be a unique situation for the Tigers, but going into Spring Training would be something to consider.
2021 MLB Free Agents: Final Thoughts
Although a veteran free agent, Josh Reddick would benefit any organization looking for a veteran presence within a clubhouse. Reddick may not have George Springer like numbers, but he will go out and do everything he has to get the job done. The Houston Astros fans will appreciate the time that Reddick put in while in an Astros uniform. “Woo-ston” as Astros fans would call it, will be different going into the 2021 season.
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