A small but notable update to the ongoing rumors about the Chicago Cubs’ interest in Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Reddick.
To date, the rumors have all focused on the Cubs’ actual and/or perceived interest in the soon-to-be free agent, who is hitting .296/.373/.442 on the year, with beautiful 11.0% and 12.9% walk and strikeout rates, respectively. With Kyle Schwarber lost for the season, and with Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist slumping, there’s not a lot of offense in the Cubs’ lineup from the left-handed side. While it’s nice to hope on Chris Coghlan’s return (he crushed righties in 2014 and 2015 for the Cubs) or Jorge Soler’s re-emergence (he was hitting very well in the weeks before his hamstring injury), perhaps the Cubs don’t want to be forced to count on either of those things happening, and/or leaning too aggressively on young, right-handed options.
There’s an argument there, at least.
And the latest from Jon Morosi, who was the first, and has since been the most vocal, reporter on this rumor, is that the Cubs and A’s “have had talks” about Reddick. That is to say, this is no longer necessarily strictly a “the Cubs might be interested in this guy” situation, according to Morosi. Instead, there have been conversations between the Cubs and A’s about a player to whom the Cubs had previously been connected in rumors. The “this bears watching” meter just ticked up a fair bit.
And let’s not forget, Dave Kaplan recently reported that if the Cubs do look to add a bat, Reddick is at the top of their list.
Obviously the Cubs still have plenty of prospect depth to pull off a deal for the rental outfielder, though it remains debatable whether there are even offense-needier teams out there that should be willing to pay more than the Cubs. Reddick is one of the best rental bats available, even in a relatively crowded outfield market, and will probably command a package centered around at least one very good (perhaps not top 50 type, but still very good) prospect. And the fare might run from there.
Morosi lists the Indians, Giants, and Dodgers as among the other teams looking for an outfield bat.
If you missed anything else from the latest Lukewarm Stove earlier this afternoon, check in here.