HOUSTON (AP) Josh Reddick never expected to hear from the Houston Astros.
''I didn't know if I was on these guy's radar,'' the outfielder said Wednesday after finalizing a $52 million, four-year contract. ''It was something that came out of nowhere for me, not in a bad way. I was very excited to hear from them. Texas is something that brings me a little closer to home.''
Reddick, who is from Georgia, was drafted by Boston in 2006, traded to Oakland after the 2011 season and dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers at last summer's trade deadline on Aug. 1. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Houston and Oakland talked about a possible deal.
''This is going to be a winning environment for the next four years,'' Luhnow said, describing his pitch to Reddick. ''We were willing to commit to the length of the deal early. Really felt like he fit in well with the culture that we're trying to build here. It spoke to him because he's seen it firsthand.''
Reddick, who gets $13 million in each of the next four seasons, appealed to the Astros as a free agent because he bats left-handed, won a Gold Glove and does not turn 30 until February.
In eight big league seasons, Reddick has 96 homers, 346 RBIs and a .255 batting average.
''Get to stay in the same division. Very comfortable being in this division,'' Reddick said. ''I know how things work. I know the stadiums. I know the pitching staffs. I know the hitters. So it's going to make this a very easy transition for me.''
Minute Maid Park was considered to be hitter friendly, even before renovations this offseason moved the center field wall in from 436 feet to 409. Reddick is looking forward to hitting more home runs in Houston than he did at the Oakland Coliseum.
''Hopefully some of these fly balls I've hit at the Coliseum over the last 4 1/2 years can maybe be 10 rows deep here,'' he said.
Reddick did not want to drag out contract talks.
''I think it was good before the winter meetings so you didn't have to worry about all the hype,'' he said. ''Go home and for the next 2 1/2 months train and get ready. Relax a lot better knowing I have a home and a good home once it comes around to February.''