There are moments in nearly every baseball season that leave fans shaking their heads and wondering, “What were they thinking?”
Some are of great magnitude and go back years, changing the fate for a team for years to come; The Babe sold by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee to the Yankees in order to finance No No Nanette in 1920, Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson traded by the Reds in 1965 for Milt Pappas, and many more.
Today’s move by the Athletics – though not the scale of a superstar transaction – with designating outfielder Sam Fuld for assignment while Josh Reddick and his whopping .103 batting average stay with the club falls in line with the same illogical wisdom that have A’s fans wondering beyond belief with a resounding “What?”
The A’s were forced to make a move to clear a roster spot with fellow outfielder Craig Gentry coming off the 15-day disabled list. Gentry, coming off a rehab assignment for a lower back injury, tore up minor league pitching going 6 for 12 with four RBIs split between Single-A Stockton and Triple-A Sacramento.
The A’s now have 10 days to either trade Fuld, release him, or send him to the minors, likely Sacramento. He will first have to clear waivers before the AAA assignment which is doubtful because another team can claim him.
The speedy and popular Fuld started the season hot but has since cooled to .200. His performance at the plate so far has resulted in one HR and two triples this season. Additionally, he can play all three outfield positions and “speed never goes in a slump.”
Reddick, the A’s regular rightfielder for the past two seasons, is again struggling with only 3 hits, all singles, in 29 at bats for the season so far. Of those 29 at bats he’s struck out 13 times (compared to only 6 by Fuld). Reddick, who sat the last two games, was 0-5 in his last game on Wednesday against the Twins with four strike outs and a grounded-into double play. (The DP came with a runner left stranded on third to end the inning and one of the Ks came with runners in scoring position.)
Additionally, Reddick still has one option left which would have allowed the A’s to send Reddick down to the minors to get it together without risk of losing him.
First baseman Daric Barton was another candidate for a DFA with stats to show he doesn’t belong in the majors. With a BA a few points worse than Reddick’s – only two hits, also all singles, in 20 ABs (.100) – and his base running blunder on opening night combined with his fielding gaffe Friday night, his value to the team is questioned.
Fans can hope the move to DFA Fuld doesn’t come back to haunt them as Fuld will likely be an addition to another club in the next few days.