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Diamondbacks trade for White Sox closer Addison Reed

Dec 16, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Nothing like a big, out-of-nowhere trade on an otherwise slow news day: Arizona has acquired closer Addison Reed from the White Sox in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson.

Reed saved 40 games this year at age 24, throwing 71 innings with a 3.79 ERA and 72/23 K/BB ratio while holding opponents to a .215 batting average. He’ll make the minimum salary in 2014 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season, so Arizona would be getting a long-term answer in the ninth-inning role.

Davidson was the Diamondbacks’ first-round pick in 2009 and made his big-league debut in August, holding his own in 31 games as a 22-year-old rookie. He was a consensus top-100 prospect heading into this year and hit .280 with 17 homers and an .831 OPS at Triple-A before reaching the majors.

  1. stex52 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Interesting. Well, the Sox couldn’t hit for crap last year. But it looks like they gave up a pretty good player, too. Reed had a 1.1 WHIP and a good K/BB ratio. I might have found it hard to make that deal if I am the Sox GM.

    • Reflex - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      I would not. Closers are a dime a dozen. And they often implode unexpectedly. And the Sox aren’t in a position of contention anyways yet, so he was a very valuable luxury. I’m just surprised the Yanks or another contender in a better position didn’t make an offer.

      White Sox did the right thing here. Reed is a very good reliever, but he’s just a reliever. They may have just solidified 3B for years to come.

      • stex52 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        Closer by definition, I agree. But good, cheap pitching is always useful. I will confess to knowing little about Davidson. If he lives up to his prospect status, then, yeah,the WS probably win the trade.

      • Reflex - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        Closer by definition. But reality wise closer is the same thing as ‘reliever’. He I good for maybe 60-80 innings per season. Regardless of the inning you use him in. In trade they got him for a guy who will likely play 150+ games worth of innings next year. At a difficult position to find talent at, for a fraction of the cost on the open market.

        I’d deal a reliever, regardless of whether or not they were anointed a ‘closer’, any day of the week for that. Especially for one that was an upper level prospect at only age 22.

        The funny thing here is what it says about the delusions of each team. The WS realize they are not in a position where a top flight closer matters, but they have a closer who appears to be that good. So they deal him for an upper level prospect at a position they need, to a team that is delusional enough to think that’s the difference between them and the playoffs. I just hope they researched his GRIT ratings…

  2. baseballisboring - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    At least Reed is cost controlled, but he’s hardly elite. 6 years of a top 3B prospect for him? Wow…what would you rather have, Trumbo and Reed, or Eaton, Skaggs and Davidson? You’re filling three positions for cheaper with the latter.

    • stex52 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Well, to be more specific, I would take a pass on Trumbo under most circumstances. He looks to me to be on a bit of a negative trajectory.

    • gbrim - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Watch Davidson a while before you label him a top 3b prospect. Numbers for him in PCL were nothing special (especially Reno). Very mediocre in the majors. Below average defensively and on the bases. Prospect? Yes. Top prospect? We’ll see.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        I don’t pretend to be a prospect expert, but he hit .280/.350/.481 in AAA last year while being young for the level. For a reliever with a 3.79 ERA last year? Damn fine haul for Chicago…

      • gloccamorra - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        @baseballisboring, gbrim has the right of it. The PCL (AAA) is loaded with dry air cities and homer-dome ballparks. Guys like Anthony Rizzo his well over .300 there with huge homer/RBI totals. In the majors, not so much. Several clubs keep their best pitchers in AA and call them up from there, to spare them the confidence-crushing “PCL Experience”. That .280/.350/.481 line is pretty mundane.

      • baseballisboring - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:57 PM

        True. Like I said, I’m far from a prospect expert. But Davidson seems to show up on everyone’s top prospects lists, at least for the DBacks. Just saying it seems like too much to give up for a reliever.

  3. tigers182 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I dismissed the Sox as a possible threat in the Central, but they have some pretty good young pieces on this team.

    • gloccamorra - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Yeah, they’re quietly rebuilding at a rapid pace with deals like this. Another trade or two involving the Diamondbacks and they’ll be a threat in the division.

  4. xdj511 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Wow… advanced metrics and devaluing saves aside… how many teams with open closer positions would’ve given up more than a 3B prospect to get a team-controlled player coming off of a 40 save season?

  5. uwsptke - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    That’s a great deal for the White Sox. Davidson for a closer, not matter how young/cost controlled that closer is, is a no-brainer. The number of closers who have maintained a high level of play for the majority of their careers is pretty small.

  6. spudchukar - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Gotta believe the Snakes believe strongly that they will be able to resign Chavez and probably to a multiple year deal, to part with a close to major league ready prospect.

    • stex52 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      When you put it that way in pushes me in the other direction, spud. Between sitting out lefties and injuries, Chavez only played 80 games last year.

      • spudchukar - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        Yeah, I could be all wet, unless the Snakes aren’t done. No way Chavez can play more than 100 games. Perhaps the D-backs aren’t done. Maybe moving Hill, and sliding Prado back to second? But nothing fits really well, cause Chavez can’t cross the diamond with Goldy, and no NL DH.

        The Yankees have to be considering Chavez, but then they add another old, aging, injury-riddled starter, and that has to be a concern. Nunez can only play one position a day.

    • spudchukar - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Maybe not. With the addition of Trumbo, Prado has to move to third, so the D-Backs are covered there, but they were already, so perhaps the Chavez acquisition is still in order, but not necessarily for multiple years.

  7. NatsLady - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    This reminds me of when the Nats traded Matt Capps (closer extraordinaire) for Wilson Ramos (catching prospect, blocked in the Twins’ system). I don’t think there is any doubt who “won” that trade, and it wasn’t the team that got the pitcher.

  8. sfm073 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    In the history of the game how many long term closers have there been?

    • gloccamorra - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Lessee – Mariano, Trevor, Rollie, Goose, …um…

    • seattlej - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      A lot more than you apparently think:

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d still take the Davidson side, but I don’t think that he’s as good of a prospect as folks are making him out to be. Consensus top 100? I’m not sure about that — he wasn’t last offseason and then put in a mediocre season at AAA.

      If he turns into an average starter this is an easy win for the Sox, but that’s certainly no lock. If everything works out he looks somewhat similar to a Trumbo type player to me. Fringy at 3B, will probably have to move to LF or 1B; low average/OBP, but good for some pop.

  9. bounce028 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Fair trade for both parties in my opinion. It’s tough to predict future production, but both teams fill a glaring need.

    I assume this would signal a full-time role at the hot corner for Prado (barring a re-signing of Chavez). If that’s the case, DBacks fans have to be a little worried about the defensive potential of a Trumbo-Parra-Ross outfield.

  10. imthedudedude - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Dang, I was really looking forward to seeing Matt Davidson with the dbacks.. Good luck to him in Chicago and I hope this guy we are getting is good, didn’t really hear much about him but we need relief.

    • gloccamorra - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      …so you don’t mind Kevin Towers trading prospects from Arizona’s formerly rich farm in exchange for players who might be good for a few years? Even though Towers is in the last year of his contract and he and his gritty manager were denied an extension?

      • gbrim - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        Leaving Towers (or any GM) the keys to the kingdom with no job security past this October is management incompetence of the highest order. If he isn’t worth a contract, dump him, eat his contract and hire someone you trust. DBacks ownership is not up to the task, financially or managerially.

  11. unclemosesgreen - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Good trade for both teams. Davidson is MLB ready but the D’Backs had no spot for him. CHW should be stockpiling young talent right now & Reed is about to get expensive. I see it as basically an even deal, and one where both teams appropriately managed their resources.

  12. homergreenz - Dec 17, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    The White Sox pitching staff is going to be a joke next season.

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