2014 National Baseball Arbitration Competition. Joshua Reddick v. Oakland Athletics. Submission on Behalf of Oakland Athletics. Midpoint: $2,325,000

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1 2014 National Baseball Arbitration Competition Joshua Reddick v. Oakland Athletics Submission on Behalf of Oakland Athletics Midpoint: $2,325,000 Submission by: Team 11

2 Table of Contents I. Introduction and Request for Hearing Decision... 3 II. Quality of Reddick s 2013 Statistics... 4 III. Analysis of Reddick s Career Contribution to the Athletics... 5 IV. History of previous physical problems... 6 V. Past Compensation... 8 VI. Salary Comparison to Similar Players VII. Team Performance VIII. Conclusion.11 Table of Authorities Baseball-Reference.com, Sports Reference, LLC, ESPN, ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports, MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement, Basic Agreement, Comcast Sports Network Bay Area, Baseball Player Salaries, Fan Graphs, Wikipedia, CBS Sports, The Oakland Athletics, 2

3 I. Introduction and Request for Hearing Decision This brief analyzes the assets and contributions of right-handed Outfielder, Josh Reddick ( Mr. Reddick ) to be reflected in his 2013 contract with the Oakland Athletics ( Athletics ). This arbitration hearing is governed by the Major League Baseball ( MLB ) Collective Bargaining Agreement ( CBA ). The CBA establishes that the following criteria shall be considered in determining the player s award: (1) the quality of the Player s contribution to his Club during the past season including, but not limited to, his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal; (2) the length and consistency of his career contributions; (3) the record of the Player s past compensation; (4) comparative baseball salaries; (5) the existence of any physical or mental defects on the part of the Player; and (6) the recent performance record of the Club. 1 And at this time, it is well settled that Mr. Reddick has the necessary 3 years of MLB service, entitling him to file a request for this first arbitration. This brief will provide clear understanding of the value Mr. Reddick provides the Athletics and why the offer of $2,100,000 for his continued employment is fair. Mr. Reddick has not produced a record of success commensurate with a contracted salary amount above what the Athletics has offered. Nor the midpoint between what the Athletics have offered and what Mr. Reddick requests. By analyzing Mr. Reddick s value against players statistics commensurate with the compensation he has requested it becomes obvious that his inconsistency in performance, existence of a second wrist injury, and the ability to replace Mr. Reddick with players currently on the rooster lead to the conclusion that the offer of the Athletics is more than fair

4 II. Quality of Reddick s 2013 Statistics Based on Mr. Reddick s breakout 2012 season with the Athletics, the prospect of an increased performance in 2013 was anticipated. After a full season with the Athletics in 2012, Reddick s offensive production decreased drastically in every category. Table 1- Josh Reddick 2013 Batting Statistics 2 G AB AVG H HR RBI Mr. Reddick never got out the starting blocks and performed dismally throughout the season. In 2013, Mr. Reddick decreased in all batting statistics from 2012 by hitting 20 less home runs, 29 less RBI s, batting average decreased.016. (Batting rankings) Table 2 - Josh Reddick stats through 114 games 3 Season AB AVG H HR RBI When purely comparing 114 game seasons with the Athletics, it is clear Mr. Reddick s 2013 performance was not on par with the expectations of the previous season. III. Analysis of Reddick s Career Contribution to the Athletics At the salary Mr. Reddick has requested the Athletics would need an 11% on field performance to justify the compensation requested. At present, he statistically represents 6% of the on field

5 performance. 4 By comparison with the other players on the Athletics, Mr. Reddick only played in two seasons and completed one. He ranks 8 th in hits, 6 th in home runs, runs, and RBI s. However with his latest injury he had to be replaced on field by Chris Gentry and Michael Taylor from the minors. Mr. Reddick s two years with the Oakland Athletics has been the tale of two distinctly different players. In 2012 Reddick was all any MLB Club could ask for with 32 home runs, 85 RBI s and excellent defensive play that resulted in a Golden Glove title. However, in 2013 Mr. Reddick produced only 12 home runs, 56 RBI s, and injured his wrist at the end of the season which triggered calling Michael Taylor up from the minors just before the playoffs. And it is this inconsistency, which makes him falls short in justifying the salary he requested. Table 3 - J. Reddick s Performance with the Oakland Athletics 5 Year AVG HR RBI SB K Notes Golden Glove Late Season Injury Mr. Reddick s value off field is best measured in deeds. Baseball players are considered roll models and celebrities in our society. Because of this societal expectation the Athletics, like all other Major League Baseball clubs, has various causes they are actively involved in and require the players to participate in. For Mr. Reddick, his required appearances are the only charity or community outreach of record that can be attributed to his name. In fact, no charitable cause of record could be found associated with his name in the Oakland Bay area. While outside

6 charitable contribution is not a requirement of his employment; involvement in charity and the community brings significant off filed value to a players overall contributions to the organization. The only off field attention Mr. Reddick participated in was the social media distraction beard off. The result was no money raised for a cause; stadium attendance did not increase, and no tie in opportunity for the Athletics to capitalize on. So in applying the requested $2,550,000 against his 6% on field performance, Mr. Reddick s value to the Athletics diminishes greatly. The Athletics concede that Mr. Reddick has value to the organizations future and would like him to return to his 2012 form. However, he has not met the threshold needed to justify further compensation due to his most recent performance. IV. History of Previous Physical Problems Mr. Reddick has suffered not one, but two wrist injuries in his short career. Both were TFCC debridement, a ligament retraction, which affects rotation of the wrist and load transmission of the forearm 6. Both wrist injuries resulted in the need for surgery. Additionally it is common for fractures to the wrist to more easily occur after surgery to repair this ligament retraction. It is only prudent of the Athletics to question his health and, particularly, his durability to complete a full season. He missed two weeks due to this pass injury. Mr. Reddick s injuries at such a young age, 26 and both necessitating surgery Raises critical concerns about his future health. Although his performance in 2012 is some indication that he can recuperate from surgery and play at a high level it is still cause for 6 6

7 concern. Be that as it may, there is still a substantial risk of a set-back or even re-injury, which is typical with any TFCC debribment surgery; laposcopic or open. Moreover, the 2011 injury was to his left wrist, his non-throwing or batting arm, leaving the Athletics hopeful but with some very real concerns only Reddick s on filed performance can dismay. The Athletics place a huge amount of faith in Mr. Reddick s ability to perform at his previous level but cannot recoup salary in return if their faith was misplaced. MLB has a 162-game season. Therefore having consistency and durability of the players is paramount to the Athletics success. The Athletics are most hopeful that Mr. Reddick will demonstrate in 2014 brilliant performance on the field. How wonderful that may be, the Athletics need rather Mr. Reddick to demonstrate sustainable and reliable on field performance through completing a season healthy and contribute in post season play. Based on this optimistic, The Athletics have made a good faith offer of $2,100,000 that Mr. Reddick should accept. V. Past Compensation Table 4 - Reddick s Compensation with the Athletics Year Salary 2012 $480, $510,000 Mr. Reddick s performance thus far in the Majors has been a tale of two players. The first is an excellent defensive player and can bring fear to opposing pitchers with his home run production. The other is an injury prone player who cannot handle the physical rigors 162 game season demands and may have been drafted too soon by The Boston Red Socks. In the Major League 7

8 Baseball every great play is caught by fans and recited through the media. But the true performance and value a player brings a team is consistency and not a highlight reel. The Athletics would like to believe that Mr. Reddick would be a player they can rely on for consistent high-level performance throughout an entire season, but his career tells a different tale. VI. Salary Comparison to Similar Players At 26, Mr. Reddick has been impressive, but as of recent quite disappointing. Therefore the Athletics must look at other players who went through the arbitration process to determine Mr. Reddick s value. Comparing Mr. Reddick with players who have similar number of games in the outfield before arbitration illustrates an appropriate standard for salary in To properly asses Reddick s value, the Athletics compare his last season numbers to those of Melky Cabrera (2008), Shane Victorino (2008), Gerardo Parra (2012), and Jay Bruce (2010) as these players played an offensive statistics as Mr. Reddick did in Table 5 Cabrera v. Reddick Player Season AVG Hits HR RBI SLG% Platform Increase Cabrera $461,200 $938,800 Reddick $510,000 - Table 6 Parra v. Reddick Player Season AVG Hits HR RBI SLG% Platform 8

9 Increase Parra $502,000 $1,848,000 Reddick $510,000 - Mr. Reddick statistics most closely resemble Cabrera and Parra. The statistics prove two facts; 1) Reddick has less hits and a lower batting average, 2) Reddick has been offered more money than what they received for better performance. This provides further support to the offer by the Athletics as generous in light of Mr. Reddick's performance to date. Table 7 Bruce v. Reddick Player Season AVG Hits HR RBI SLG% Platform Increase Bruce $440,000 $2,351,000 Reddick $510,000 - The midpoint between what Mr. Reddick was offered and his request is $2,325,000. Here you can see that Jay Bruce received very close to that figure after his first baseball arbitration with a much higher batting average, hits, and more than twice the number of home runs Mr. Reddick produced for It would be incomprehensible for a team, looking at these statistics to fairly assess Mr. Reddick s value equal or even higher based on his 2013 performance. Table 8 Victorino v. Reddick Player Season AVG Hits HR RBI SLG% Platform Increase 9

10 Victorino $480,000 $2,645,000 Reddick $510,000 - Essentially, Mr. Reddick has asked for a salary increase of $2,000,000. In order to justify such an increase, on field performance and extenuating circumstances are factors to consider. Such circumstances could be coming off of a World Series victory. In comparing Mr. Reddick with Shane Victorino s first arbitration year performance, Mr. Reddick is comparable in most areas. However, in 2008 the Phillies won the NL East and the World Series. Thus proving that the salary increase was based on a World Series win and not Victorino s on field performance exclusively. The Athletics won the AL West but fell short of a World Series appearance in 2013 post season. VII. Team Performance Despite his lack luster performance the Athletics still won the American League West. It is the Athletics contention that Mr. Reddick s 2013 statistics justify the Athletics offer of $2, and no more. The Athletics are a championship team and demand championship level play and consistently in order to stay in contention each season. Winning the 2013 Season 5 games ahead in their division was expected. The performance of Reddick from 2012 was also expected but as previously stated, Mr. Reddick never got out of the starting blocks. And to add insult to injury, he in fact got injured at the most pivotal point of the 2013 season causing the Athletics to call Michael Taylor up from the minors. And at present, Mr. Reddick s starting lineup position 10

11 is in question. Therefore while the Athletics are a consistent playoff contender, it is questionable at best if consistent play can be expected from Mr. Reddick, the tale of two players. VIII. Conclusion What may be even more compelling a justification for the salary offered by the Athletics is the fact that there are 4 other outstanding outfielders already on the rooster. Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp, Jonny Gomes, and Seth Smith. This undisputed fact allows the team to place the best defenders on the field and reserve the best hitter against a pitcher in the designated hitter position. The power at bat these 4 alone bring unfortunately diminishes Reddick s overall value because he is replaceable without the need of a trade. Moreover, the Athletics have Michael Taylor and Michael Choice whom they have been developing in their Sacramento farm team who may be ready for the majors. 7 In fact the Athletics did such on August 25 th, 2013 when he was need the most as the season was closing. Simply put, Mr. Reddick s performance in 2014 is terribly difficult to predict because he has been inconsistent as a player. Mr. Reddick statistically cannot justify his salary demand based on comparable players in their first arbitration. And it is most concerning to the Athletics if he can complete a full season due to his recent injury, which is his throwing and batting arm. Based on this information, the Athletics feel comfortable with the salary offer of $2,100,000 and request this arbitration to decide accordingly

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