For as well as the Cubs have played the depth the front office built in the off-season has been tested, especially in the outfield, over the first month of the season.
Kyle Schwarber was lost for the year in the third game of the year. Jason Heyward has been dealing with a sore right wrist since the same series in Arizona. Matt Szczur was placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury Tuesday.
Joe Maddon has used Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist, half of his Opening Day infield, in the outfield more than Jorge Soler over the last week. The injuries to Heyward and Szczur led to Ryan Kalish being called up from the minors. And there could be more help on the way, Shane Victorino is close to reporting to Triple-A Iowa.
Theo Epstein made the trip to Pittsburgh and was asked about moves the front office could make to improve the roster.
“But as far as needs that we might have, or ways that we can get better, we’re always addressing that,” Epstein told Comcast SportsNet. “I think there’s lots of different ways we could potentially improve the club before the end of the season.”
Most feel the front office will trade for a starting pitcher, but the Cubs could make a move for an outfielder, one that hits from the left side that plays really good defense.
Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod know veteran outfielder Josh Reddick very well from their days in Boston. The Red Sox selected Reddick in the 17th round of the 2006 draft. Reddick is in the final year of his contract and becomes a free agent at the end of the season, if Billy Beane doesn’t sign him to a contract extension.
Josh Reddick is hitting .260/.322/.423 in 28 games with five doubles and four home runs for a .745 OPS.
Reddick recently addressed his contract situation and relationship with Theo Epstein with Jon Paul Morosi.
Reddick would like to stay in Oakland and was hoping to have an extension done before Opening Day. Reddick said he is “not aware of any substantive talks between the A’s and his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson.” According to the report, the A’s have indicated they would like to sign him to a long-term deal.
The A’s were just swept by the Mariners and are 13-16 on the season. And if the A’s keep playing the way they have, Billy Beane could be very active this July leading up to the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
According to Morosi, Reddick could be “one of the more intriguing players available on the trade market” and pointed out the Cubs could be one of the teams in the market for a corner outfielder before the deadline.
Josh Reddick told Morosi that he used to be one of Epstein’s favorites. While he was still in Boston, Epstein promised that he would not trade him. Reddick said that Epstein kept his word and did not trade him. Epstein never said he would not leave the Red Sox for another team.
Ben Cherington sent Reddick, along with Raul Alcantara and Miles Head, to the A’s for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney on December 28, 2011 two months after Theo Epstein took over Baseball Operations for the Cubs.
Reddick said that he would like to see the A’s win so he’s not traded this summer.
Outfield is one area the front office could address before the deadline. If Josh Reddick becomes available, the Cubs will likely be in the mix for him. Bruce Levine pointed out shortly after Kyle Schwarber went down for the season that Reddick would be a player the Cubs look to acquire to fill the void.