White Sox: Is Josh Reddick a Viable Free Agent Target?

White Sox still lack overall outfield depth. If team intends on contending in 2017, they should take a look at adding a former Gold Glove winner to its outfield for next season.

The Chicago White Sox will have many decisions to make over the upcoming off-season. One of those decisions will be adding to a thin outfield. The Sox lack of outfield depth ultimately hurt the team this past season, and they can’t enter next season without adding some key pieces.

One player the Sox could look to sign in the off-season could be outfielder Josh Reddick. Reddick will be a free agent in the offseason, and could be a target of a lot of contending teams. The Sox certainly have a need for Reddick, but will Jerry Reinsdorf actually spend the money to sign him?

You might think it shouldn’t take much money to sign Reddick right? Sure, that could be true but we’re dealing with a frugal owner in Reinsdorf. Not to mention an incompetent front office led by Ken Williams.  The Sox whiffed on major free agents last year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they missed out on signing Reddick.

Reddick is a career .255 hitter over eight MLB seasons. The 2012 Gold Glove winner was traded to Los Angeles Dodgers from the Oakland Athletics at the trading deadline this past season. With the Dodgers, Reddick hit .258 in 47 games with two home runs. Before the trade, Reddick hit .296 with the Athletics in 68 games with eight home runs.

The Sox could certainly use a player like Reddick as he’s been a solid defender throughout his career. Reddick has a career fielding percentage of .978. However, Reddick did experience a drop in defensive value as his UZR rating was -0.8 according to fangraphs.com in 2016. In 2015, Reddick’s UZR was a career-low -1.7.

Although Reddick suffered defensively with the Dodgers, he still has the pedigree to have a bounceback season in 2017 on defense. The Sox not only need Reddick because of his defense, they will also need his left-handed bat. Reddick isn’t a power-hitter, but he does get on base and can get extra-base hits.

Over the 2016 season, Reddick’s OBP was .345 with both the Athletics and Dodgers. Reddick hit a total of 17 doubles, and his OPS was .749. Reddick would be a much needed addition to the Sox lineup next season, and could certainly hit sixth or higher.

The Sox need to be smart with this upcoming offseason, and signing Reddick would be a very wise choice for the front office. If the Sox intend on contending, they can’t pass up on signing Reddick. The Sox defense would be better as they can put Adam Eaton back in center field. Although Eaton played a solid right field this past season, the Sox defense would still be solid if Eaton is moved back to center field with the addition of Reddick.

The Sox won’t have many options better than Reddick on the free agent market. If the Dodgers don’t intend on resigning Reddick, the Sox should most certainly be aggressive in its pursuit of the avid WWE fan. It makes sense to have a lineup featuring Reddick, but Sox fans know the front office barely makes many logical decisions.

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