Chicago Cubs: Josh Reddick still on the radar as trade deadline nears

Jul 22, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (22) flies out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 22, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick (22) flies out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Cubs have already made the biggest splash of the trade deadline by acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees. With time still left to deal, the Cubs need to look at their other biggest need. Hitting.

It seems strange to say that about this Chicago Cubs team, that it would need to find more offense. But after being shutout by the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night–the first time the Cubs have gone scoreless since May 31–you have to wonder what bat Theo & Co. might have their eye on.

It wasn’t just this loss that has made it apparent that this offense has some holes. While many pointed to the bullpen as the biggest need for the Cubs, the offense has gone dormant on several occasions this year. Since May 15 the Cubs have played just .500 baseball. They’re living on their hot start, but improved baseball must come soon if they want to keep the hopes of the Chicago faithful up.

The Cubs added Chapman. Great. But they were already 56-1 when leading heading into the ninth. And 54-1 when leading entering the eighth. The perception of the Cubs bullpen is a little bit foggy. But Chapman will improve it. Not necessarily because he’s a lockdown closer, but because he takes our already strong closer in Hector Rondon and moves him to the eighth. Pedro Strop to the seventh. And the rest of the pen to match up where needed. The trickle down effect.

More from Cubbies Crib

On Wednesday night we had the chance to see Chapman warming up to possibly get his first save as a Cub. But then, the same thing that happened to Rondon on more than one occasion happened to him. The offense exploded late taking a save situation away en route to an 8-1 victory. We still got to see him but in a less dramatic fashion.

That’s the offense we were accustomed to seeing, but in the last two months, it’s only shown itself occasionally. Outside of losing Dexter Fowler for 30+ games the offense has stayed relatively the same. First, it shows just how valuable he’s been this year. Secondly, it shows the Cubs could use another bat for depth to help their postseason chances.

Josh Reddick is an intriguing name for several reasons. First, he’s an Epstein guy, drafted by Theo in Boston. He spent three years there before heading to Oakland. Reddick has been hoping to sign an extension with the A’s but the two sides haven’t been able to agree on terms. So for now, he would be another rental–and that’s not a bad thing.

Reddick is a solid hitter, and isn’t the most hitter-friendly park in the league. He’s averaged 17 home runs and 60 RBIs in his five years there. Not eye-popping, but couldn’t definitely help the Cubs offense down the stretch. And the Cubs have enjoyed doing business with the A’s ( read as “taking them for a ride”) and wouldn’t mind doing it again. Again, we thank you for Addison Russell. And Billy McKinney, who helped land Chapman.

Jason Heyward continues to have his woes at the plate, and I’ll admit he’s been robbed on some hard hit balls. The debate over if his defense is worth it is irrelevant. There are few better in the league. But when October comes, having another quality bat to put in the lineup could make all the difference. Heyward could put together a solid run in the playoffs, ala Jorge Soler last season, and we’d temporarily forget about how bad he’s been at the plate.

Next: A trade 'years' in the making

Soler and Chris Coghlan will be coming off the DL soon. Coghlan could very well get packaged up and sent back to Oakland, just like Adam Warren was to New York. And it’s possible–only the slightest, though–that Epstein and Jed Hoyer could try to score Sonny Gray as well, as a deal that looks to solidify their future rotation. But that deal wouldn’t be cheap, even with Gray’s struggles this year.

With just a few days left until the deadline, we’ll keep you posted with all the rumors and scenario’s you can handle. It’s unlikely the Cubs will make another blockbuster move, but a few additions to add the depth of the team would make sense.