PHOENIX (AP) — Josh Reddick took some batting practice swings Sunday at the Oakland Athletics’ spring training camp and, the way the ball was jumping off his bat, it was hard to tell he had a troublesome wrist last season.
The injury now behind him, Reddick and the Oakland Athletics avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $2.7 million, one-year contract Sunday.
The 26-year-old outfielder had asked for $3.25 million when the sides swapped figures last month and had been offered $2 million.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” Reddick said. “We battled with negotiations but I had all the confidence in the world that we weren’t going to make this a nasty court affair. They made it clear that they weren’t going to do that. From the get-go it was very comforting for me . happy to have that out of the way now and get back to playing ball.”
Reddick hit .226 with 12 homers and 56 RBIs in 114 games last year, when he went to the disabled list twice because of a sprained right wrist that required offseason surgery. He made $510,000.
The A’s had hoped for more production. Acquired from Boston before the 2012 season, Reddick had 32 homers and 85 RBIs in his first season with Oakland, when he earned a Gold Glove.
“More just piece of mind for him to get that out of the way,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You don’t want to start camp with that weighing on your mind. It was going to get done, just glad it got done where both sides are happy with it and now he can just move on and start playing baseball.”
Melvin said Reddick looks a little stronger this season after putting on some additional pounds from weightlifting.
Reddick regrets not taking care of his wrist earlier, when it first started to hurt. He said he should have gone on the disabled list right after the injury instead of resting it and then continuing to play.
“I’m not going to try to set any expectations, I’m just going to try and put last year behind me,” he said. “Try to get back to 2012 form.”
NOTES: Three of the new members of the A’s pitching staff threw their first bullpen sessions of spring training on Sunday, starting pitcher Scott Kazmir and relievers Jim Johnson and Luke Gregerson. . Melvin said reliever Sean Doolittle will throw a bullpen session on Monday as he returns from a minor calf injury. . OF Coco Crisp arrived at camp today ahead of veteran’s reporting day, which is Wednesday. . The A’s will donate $63,055 to the City of Phoenix on Feb. 27 before their spring training game against Milwaukee. Proceeds from the team’s charity game that will benefit Kool Kids, a program that provides free swimming at select city pools for youth ages 17 and under. The A’s will also present Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton with a special plaque thanking the City of Phoenix for its 33-year partnership with the club which will end after this year when the team returns to Mesa for its spring training.