- Rating: 2.72
- Age: 34
- 2021 Stats: 158 PA, .258/.285/.371 = .656 OPS, 76 OPS+, -0.4 bWAR
- 2021 Earnings: $310,464 (per Spotrac)
- 2022 Status: free agent
I don’t think Reddick will need much of an introduction. At the end of 2020 he wrapped up a 4 year/$52,000,000 contract with the Houston Astros. That is pretty awesome for a guy that has a lifetime OBP and OPS+ of just above average and carries a nickname of Mr. Irrelevant.
He had a career year offensively in 2017. When the Astros trash can-banged. Hmmm...
However that may be, it seems obvious that Reddick’s best years are long due as he had to settle in 2021 for a minor league contract with, what’s in a name, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
I think it is in some way hilarious if I think of Josh Reddick and his time with the Diamondbacks. Reddick started in Reno this season, in Triple A, with over $60,000,000 on his bank account. That isn’t something entirely new, but the difference with Yasmany Tomas is that Reddick already had loads of money and didn’t need to play in Reno. Reddick probably shared some moments with Miguel Aguilar in Reno, whom I wrote about yesterday, and who got his first real payment from the Diamondbacks, a 50k payment check. That whole situation just seems wrong from the beginning, but the Diamondbacks front office i.e. Mike Hazen didn’t realise it until we were already in August.
Reddick got a call-up on the 20th of May. Effectively it was the designation of Yoan Lopez that opened a spot on the 40-man roster, but the need had arisen because Nick Heath had been optioned to Reno and Kole Calhoun was on the 60-day IL.
Reddick went hitless in his debut and wouldn’t hit for too much in the following 9 games he played, all of those games ending in losses. In his 10th game he’d contributed to a long wished win over the Cardinals and not soon afterwards it became visible he was sporting some mohawk that went viral in all baseball-related media.
“When you go on stretches like we just went on, sometimes you’ve got to switch things up,” Reddick said. “[I] felt the need to come in and surprise the boys, try to switch up the mojo and get our minds off things. Make a bad look and try to turn things around. It’s doing its job right now. Hopefully, it’s something we can continue to do. Sometimes you’ve got to switch things up. It’s just hair. It’ll grow back.”
If you win, that is funny and things like that. In the beginning it looked like it could work, that there was really some kind of a positive contribution from Reddick to the results, or at least that is what Josh Rojas let us believe:
“Reddick’s awesome,” infielder Josh Rojas said. “Both on the field and in the clubhouse. I think he was the spark that this team needed. He’s a veteran guy who’s been doing it a long time. I knew when we signed him he’s a great guy, he’s going to bring a lot of energy in the clubhouse and produce in the field. Great at-bats, consistent at-bats. Finding holes. Tonight was a prime example of the kind of veteran leadership he brings to this team with a clutch at-bat there in extra innings.”
Nice words, but the 2021 Diamondbacks showed to everyone that veteran leadership is absolutely useless if you lack talent on the team. Of the 54 games that Reddick played with the Diamondbacks, they won just 11. Reddick was pretty much numb offensively, apart from a small hitting streak at the end of May/beginning of June. His defence was down, ISO was down, SO% was up, BB% was down, while his BABIP was actually up...do I need to go further?
It is clear that Reddick wasn’t contributing to the team and taking away valuable playing time from whatever prospect but Mike Hazen refused to notice until the beginning of August when some players had to be removed from the roster after the returns of Pavin Smith, Riley Smith and Taylor Clarke from the injured lists. Reddick became one of them and a week later he had cleared waivers. He would sign a new minor league contract with the New York Mets just two days later, but didn’t return to the MLB in 2021.
There are some things to remember though about Reddick’s stay in Arizona. One of those moments already got a nomination for play of the year: the relay that nabbed Yonathan Daza at home plate. Another moment was his mohawk walk-off against the Mets, of course, but certainly to remember as well was his pitching debut, against the Dodgers, where Albert Pujols, who ate Diamondbacks for breakfast in 2021, hit a homerun off Reddick.
At the end of August 2021 Reddick was released by the New York Mets and apparently isn’t planning to call it quits. If he wishes to play in 2022 he should be able to get a minor league contract somewhere.