OAKLAND — Josh Reddick expressed disappointment Thursday that a contract extension hasn’t been worked out to this point that would keep him in an A’s uniform.
The right fielder, set to become a free agent at season’s end, was asked if he’d like to stay in Oakland beyond 2016.
“I would love to, yeah,” Reddick said. “But if something doesn’t get worked out the way it should be, then obviously I’m not really somebody wanted here.”
Negotiations took place between the A’s and Reddick’s representatives during spring training but nothing was hammered out. At the time, Reddick said he didn’t want negotiations to continue into the regular season, but he softened that stance. A’s general manager David Forst maintained the team always was willing to continue talking during the season.
Reddick said he was unaware of any negotiations currently taking place.
“It’s kind of disheartening to know something hasn’t been worked out so far, and we’ve been four months into it,” Reddick said. “It is what it is.”
Forst declined any comment Thursday on Reddick’s contract status.
Reddick, 29, is hitting .301 with six homers and 23 RBI in 59 games overall. He missed 34 games beginning in late May with a fractured left thumb, interrupting what at the time seemed like a potential All-Star campaign. Should he reach the open market, Reddick would be one of the top hitters available this winter. He was ranked No. 4 on mlbtraderumors.com’s most recent Free Agent Power Rankings, which are based on perceived earning power.
It’s believed that the number of years is the sticking point between the A’s and Reddick on a long-term deal. The A’s reportedly offered a three-year deal in spring training and Reddick’s camp countered with a four-year deal in the $56 million range.
He could be in line for a contract well north of that if he reaches the open market this winter, given that the upcoming free agent class is not considered a particularly deep one.
Given that no long-term deal has been reached, Reddick is one of the A’s best potential trade chips as the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline approaches. A Fox Sports report on Thursday suggested the Chicago Cubs are interested in dealing for Reddick.
The A’s have options to weigh. They could trade Reddick and try to get a package of prospects in return. Or they could hold on to him, extend him a qualifying offer in the winter — which would amount to a one-year deal for roughly $17 million — and if he declines that offer and signs elsewhere, the A’s get a compensation draft pick next summer between the first and second round.
There’s also the possibility that Reddick could accept the qualifying offer and test the free agent waters during the 2017 offseason. The decision for Reddick would be whether the chance to cash in on the open market this winter is too good to pass up.
Reddick said he and his agent, Seth Levinson, haven’t discussed the qualifying offer issue yet.
As for trade speculation in general?
“This game is hard enough as it is (to have to) worry about crap like that,” Reddick said. “I come to the ballpark and do my job, and I’m here to help the Oakland A’s win.”