CLEVELAND — Josh Reddick is not a big fan of social media right now.
For one, his Twitter account was hacked into Thursday. Second, he wants absolutely nothing to do with the major league rumor mill that is gathering momentum and will only pick up more steam in the last couple days leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline Monday afternoon.
Reddick’s name is out there as one of the top corner outfielders potentially available. A source confirmed Friday that there’s been dialogue between the A’s and Dodgers involving Reddick. The teams also have talked about left-hander Rich Hill, and about a combo deal involving both players heading to Los Angeles.
It’s not clear how far those discussions went or if they’re still going, and the Dodgers reportedly are also working on a trade that could net them Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, which presumably would end any pursuit of Reddick.
But Reddick did nothing to dent his appeal Friday, homering in a 5-3 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field. He also came within a few feet of putting the A’s ahead in the ninth. His fly ball to the wall in right-center wound up finding the glove of Tyler Naquin for the final out with two runners aboard.
Having watched Khris Davis’ homer carry over the wall in center in the sixth, Reddick thought his shot in the ninth might have a chance.
“When I hit it, I thought it was gone because of the way KD’s ball carried,” he said. “But obviously I’m nowhere near as strong as he is. I just got under it a little too much.”
Tunnel vision has served Reddick well this season, and he’d like to apply some over the next three days. He did his best throughout spring training to block out speculation about his negotiations with the A’s for a contract extension that still hasn't happened. With the 29-year-old set to become a free agent at season’s end, and those contract negotiations seemingly at a stand-still, there’s motivation for the A’s to try and trade him by the deadline.
But they could also hang on to him, give him a qualifying offer after the season (it would be a one-year, $16.7 million deal that’s standard across the majors) and if he signs elsewhere, the A’s would collect a valuable compensation draft pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds next year.
Reddick doesn’t want to know about any trade chatter unless it involves the concrete realization that he’s actually being shipped somewhere. Hill remains the Athletic with the highest likelihood to be traded.
“I’m avoiding it until all that stuff’s over,” Reddick said. “Like I said in spring, I’m just here to play baseball.”
He and his teammates entered Friday with a 9-4 record since the All-Star break, and much of their success was due to late-inning rallies. The tables turned on them Friday, as the Indians rallied for four runs in the seventh to erase Oakland’s 3-1 lead.
The A’s hurt themselves, with an error from Marcus Semien that put speedy ex-Athletic Rajai Davis on base, with a wild pitch from Ryan Dull that scored the go-ahead run, and a walk from Marc Rzepczynski that moved things along for Cleveland.
Kendall Graveman was sharp through the first six innings but couldn’t shut the door after Semien’s error, allowing consecutive singles that scored the Indians’ first run of the inning.
Then Reddick stepped up in the ninth, with two outs after singles from Ryon Healy and Coco Crisp, and put a jolt into a Cody Allen breaking ball, only to come up just short of being the hero.
“I thought, with the trajectory of it, and the sound off the bat, it had a chance to go out,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Turns out it was just a close call. But Reddick can deal with tense moments like that. It’s the off-field drama of the next three days he could do without.