In Major League Baseball, arbitration cases certainly are not created equal, and that is certainly the case with the Oakland A’s and outfielder Josh Reddick. As a result of some very interesting circumstances, the two sides failed to reach an agreement before Friday’s deadline, and the actual values of the respective offers are quite interesting.
Josh Reddick asks for $3.25M from the A’s. Team offers $2M.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 18, 2014
The $1.25 million difference between the two sides is sizable, though not ridiculous, but the circumstances surrounding Reddick’s early career is what makes this quite intriguing. In 2012, the 26-year-old Reddick blasted 32 home runs and stole 11 bases in route to a 4.5 fWAR, but in 2013, his production leveled off quite a bit. During that campaign, Reddick struggled to stay healthy, appearing in just 114 games, and as a result, the power evaporated (12 home runs) and his OPS dipped more than 60 points.
Because of that, the A’s are surely banking on the arbitrator selecting Reddick’s salary based on his 2013 salary, while Reddick’s representation is resting on his 2012 breakout as his “real” value. Cases like this are exceedingly common in baseball, but in the case of Reddick, the great debate will likely rage on until the final ruling comes down in a few weeks.