Addison Reed saved 40 games for the Chicago White Sox in 2013, but at the same time they lost nearly 100 games overall, so general manager Rick Hahn needed to look at the big picture.
By trading Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks for third baseman Matt Davidson, he has done that. Third base has been a problem area for the White Sox ever since Joe Crede left. Other than Robin Venura and Bill Melton, the position has been bereft of stars throughout most of the franchise's history. Though his footwork on defense is said to need work, Davidson is a big-time power prospect, probably the best in Arizona's organization. Just what the White Sox need on offense, even after adding outfielder Adam Eaton from Arizona in an earlier trade, and slugger Jose Abreu in free agency.
The MVP of the Futures Game in 2013, Davidson also has major-league ready hair and a beard. He turns 23 next spring. He batted .237/.333/.434 with four homers in 87 plate appearances for the D-backs in 2013. Davidson has batted .268/.351/.452 with 80 home runs in 2,539 career plate appearances in the minors.
On the Arizona side, the D-backs have Martin Prado around to play third every day, with newly acquired Mark Trumbo playing left field. That set-up makes Davidson expendable. And with their closer being Brad Ziegler — who did a great job in 2013 with his submarining offspeed stuff — Reed gives them a hard thrower for the back of the bullpen. Teams almost always are more comfortable with hard throwers pitching the ninth, with occasional exceptions.
Reed was pretty good as a closer in 2013, his second full season on the job, and he appears to be getting better. He strikes out 9.3 per nine innings and walks 2.8 for his career, and his hits per nine dropped significantly in 2013. He's about to turn 25 years old, and he seems a good bet for another 40-save season.
This is going to look like a good trade for the D-backs in the coming season, though Reed's value might diminish as he becomes eligible for arbitration. In the long run, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn will be praised for adding a very good young player at a tough position to fill.
- - - - - - -