Addison Reed is a pretty good reliever. He was better in 2012 than in 2013 but, by and large, he’s a decent end-of-game option. The White Sox have no real need for just a such a player, heading into a rebuild phase with young players at many key positions. A proven closer one season away from an expensive arbitration payday is a luxury they don’t really require.
It makes sense that Arizona would make a move for a younger pitcher that still has crucial “closer” experience. Their bullpen lead baseball in blown saves last season, tied with the Astros at 29. Somehow, the Snakes’ bullpen in 2013 feels worse than it actually performed. Adding Heath Bell is a sure way to swing opinion the wrong way, but the former Padres and Marlins stopper was quite good in Arizona, earning himself a new job in Tampa Bay to be their end of game guy.
The blown saves are unsightly but David Hernandez rebounded after a shocking demotion to AAA and J.J. Putz was excellent in the second half. Brad Zielger was excellent throughout the season. The blowups live long in the mind Arizona’s general manager Kevin Towers so they got more bullpen depth, more saves and a new pitcher, adding presumptive closer Addison Reed from Chicago in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson.
If it was depth the Diamondbacks wanted, they could have their pick from numerous free agents still on the market. But Reed is a Proven Closer who is also due to earn around the league minimum this season and isn’t a free agent for four more years.
In exchange, Chicago gets a powerful young player that Arizona lost a bit of faith in. Matt Davidson will get the chance to play every day. If the Diamondbacks didn’t think his footwork/defense was good enough for third base (and they aren’t alone in this belief), the White Sox appear more than happy to give Davidson the chance to prove it — one way or another — at the big league level.
The incredible-active Arizona GM is building his club to win and win now – without completely forsaking the future. While he lost some velocity in 2013, he’s still a tough customer for opposing hitters.
Addison Reed averaged about 93 MPH on his fastball last season, down 2 MPH from 2012. That said: he's tough to hit pic.twitter.com/q8vF6Cv8Zw
— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) December 16, 2013
Giving up on prospects early is nothing new for Arizona, who have a nice record of knowing when to punt on their young guys. Chicago gives up their save collector in exchange for the chance that Towers is wrong about Matt Davidson.
Betting against Towers on misreading a prospect doesn’t seem wise but betting that he’s building winner in the desert also looks like a long shot. Good but not good enough is no way to go through life.