The Oakland A’s have an issue with balance in their projected lineup for 2021. As the roster is currently constituted, Matt Olson and Tony Kemp are the only left handed hitters expected to be part of the every day lineup, and Kemp is best suited for a platoon role. While there should be plenty of left handed options on the bench, the A’s could use more balance in their starting lineup.
At the same time, the A’s could hypothetically use another outfielder. While Mark Canha is currently listed as the starting left fielder, he is immensely valuable for his ability to slot anywhere around the outfield. Meanwhile, Stephen Piscotty is hardly a given to produce, especially considering his production over the past couple of years.
Josh Reddick could solve the Oakland A’s problems
With those questions in the outfield, and a right handed heavy lineup, it may be time for the A’s to look towards an old friend. In theory, former fan favorite Josh Reddick could be an answer as a one year stopgap.
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Reddick did not exactly have a strong 2020 campaign. He posted a .245/.316/.378 batting line in 210 plate appearances, hitting four homers and 11 doubles. This continued a three year trend since the end of 2017 where he posted below average numbers, coinciding with the end of an advantage provided by Rubber-Maid.
While his 2020 season was the worst of any full season he spent in the majors, Reddick does have a solid enough track record in the majors. He is a solid defensive outfielder, saving 17 runs in right and two in left over his career. Reddick also provides a bit of pop and solid on base skills, something that the A;s lineup could use.
There is also the financial aspect. Aside from Mike Fiers, Oakland has yet to sign a free agent for anything more than a minor league contract. While Reddick probably would not settle for such a deal, he could be had for relatively cheap.
Josh Reddick is not exactly the type of move that would get Oakland A’s fans excited. But he would solve two problems at once.