With the recent decision to trade away Josh Reddick, along with Rich Hill, to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Athletics lost a wonderful player after failing to secure a contract extension. Although some fans may have seen this move coming, it was still difficult to see another clubhouse leader leave the team. With recent lineup adjustments, it seems as though they were preparing for this move for quite some time now. From Ryon Healy’s call up to the Billy Burns trade, the Athletics were shuffling the deck appropriately before the deal was made. We will look at the moves made (and also the ones that might be made) that have eased the pain of Josh Reddick’s departure.
The Call Up of Ryon Healy (Or the move of Danny Valencia to Right Field)
When this move was made, Oakland fans thought that this meant Danny Valencia was going to be dealt because he lost his starting third base job to someone with no MLB experience. However, instead of the Athletics dealing him for a small package, they decided to test him out at other positions like first base and right field.
It was unknown if a Valencia trade was guaranteed to happen, but the Athletics kept him in the lineup without giving up on him. His versatility led him to be played in right field during some games that saw Reddick out of the lineup. The Athletics were more comfortable with him in right field due to Yonder Alonso’s increasing performance at the plate. After a few missed games with a sore back, Bob Melvin and company had to adjust the lineup, possibly foreshadowing a Josh Reddick departure, in order to potentially replace Reddick’s defense in right field, along with his consistent bat.
The Trade of Billy Burns
Recently demoted Billy Burns was sent to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder Brett Eibner prior to the 2016 MLB trade deadline. When the move was made, Eibner was often compared to Josh Reddick due to his style of play. Eibner was known as a Royal with a strong throwing arm and some pop to his bat. This move was made when there were ongoing discussions between the Dodgers and Athletics regarding Reddick. With the Eibner acquisition, the front office may decide to insert him into right field come September and see if he can turn into a sleeper hit.
There is a slight chance the Athletics sign Josh Reddick in the offseason, depending on his numbers in Los Angeles. He has shown his love for the organization. Even when they could not see eye to eye on a contract extension, he may consider a return to the club.