While this writer continues to be perturbed about the Oakland Athletics and the Josh Reddick trade, many readers have chimed in to offer an alternative perspective.
Since I wrote my column on my disgust with the Oakland Athletics because they traded Josh Reddick for three prospects, I have gotten a great deal of incredibly thoughtful response. I have to say that I appreciate fans who can disagree without being disagreeable. Let me say that again, I value this discussion a great deal.
The responses fell into two main categories. The first category was, “Welcome to the club. I gave up on the A’s when they traded…” Everyone does agree that trading Josh Donaldson was an enormous mistake.
The other category was most interesting. I would say that these fans insist that the Josh Reddick trade was a good one. The A’s had a choice between paying Reddick $56 million dollars over four years or losing him to free agency.
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The A’s were willing to pay him $42 million for three years, but that fourth year was a sticking point. Oakland traded Reddick for three pitching prospects from the Dodgers. If you accept the premise that the A’s were going to lose Reddick to free agency, then, of course, getting three tantalizing prospects is better than receiving a sandwich pick as the A’s play out the string on a losing season.
I simply refuse to accept the fact that the A’s had to lose Reddick to free agency.
That was, by the way, the central point of my earlier column. If the A’s ownership refuses to invest in Josh Reddick, who will they pay? Let’s say Marcus Semien develops plate discipline and hits 30 home runs while batting .300. Let’s say his defense continues to improve.
Are the A’s going to sign Semien to a four-year $40 million dollar contract? The A’s have one more year of team control over Semien. Three of the A’s top prospects play shortstop. Stephen Vogt is making $527,000.
This two time all star catcher is eligible for arbitration next year. Will the A’s ownership sign him to a lucrative three-year deal? I don’t think so. Is Stephen Vogt expendable? Of course, he is!
I would like to believe that the Oakland Athletics have some long-term plan built around all these prospects they are stockpiling. I just do not see it. Is there anyone in our farm system that has the talent of Josh Reddick? Jake Smolinski is a good player, but I do not see a gold glove or a thirty home run season in his future.
These young players the A’s are bringing up are decent, but I don’t see them leading the A’s to the promise land of the playoffs. I don’t see the A’s even making a move to compete within the division.
Josh Reddick was the heart and soul of this Oakland Athletics team. Now we are stuck watching a team that plays with little heart and an ownership that has no soul.
That’s my opinion…