Josh Reddick to Astros: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2016

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 2:   Josh Reddick #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the Colorado Rockies during a game at Coors Field on August 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Veteran outfielder Josh Reddick has reached an agreement with the Houston Astros, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday.

Passan noted the deal is for $52 million over four seasons.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports confirmed Reddick will sign with the Astros, pending a physical.

Reddick is a streaky player, but his net impact on a team has almost always been positive. He's accumulated 15.9 WAR across eight seasons, and he's rated above replacement level every year except 2009, when he played just 27 games for the Boston Red Sox in his debut campaign, per FanGraphs.

The 29-year-old Georgia native split the 2016 season between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. He posted a career-high .345 on-base percentage in 115 games but racked up just 10 home runs, his lowest total since 2011.

His up-and-down play was on full display after he joined the Dodgers in a midseason trade. He hit just .161 with a miserable .395 OPS in August before rebounding with a strong September to help the club clinch a playoff berth by winning the National League West.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times highlighted the type of production the outfielder can provide when he's in a zone at the plate:

Bill Shaikin @BillShaikin

In August, his first month with #Dodgers, Josh Reddick hit .161 with a .396 OPS. In September: .400 with a 1.004 OPS.

Interestingly, Reddick told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register the resurgence wasn't about making changes but rather sticking to his normal routine until he broke out of the slump.

"I learned that probably last year," he said. "For the most part, when I'm going well, my cage work is limited to almost none at all. Pregame, right before the game, I go in there and do my routine."

Another thing he didn't spend much time thinking about was his impending foray into the free-agent market. He explained his mindset early in the season, per Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com.

"I'm one of the guys that doesn't think about that," Reddick said. "I'm not going into the box thinking, 'If I don't get this run in, or I don't get this amount of home runs, I'm not going to be the free-agent player I need to be.' That's just something I've put very far back in my mind."

The plan worked. Even with the drop-off in the power department, Reddick's overall performance allowed him to maintain his value.

In the end, Reddick is heading to his third team in the past year. The upside is that going through the transition of joining the Dodgers should make the latest change of scenery easier to deal with during spring training.

Now the question is whether Reddick can put everything together. He's shown the ability to hit for power, with 32 homers in 2012, and he recorded a strong on-base percentage this past season. If he combines those, he could be a bargain.

It's a risk worth taking for the Astros. Even if he doesn't have a huge year at the plate, he'll likely be a solid hitter who plays plus defense, and that combination carries plenty of value.


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