Davidson, 22, a former first-round pick and top-rated prospect, spent most of last season at Triple-A Reno, where he hit .280 with a .350 on-base percentage, a .481 slugging percentage, 17 homers and 74 RBIs in 115 games. He got a late-season call-up to Arizona and batted .237/.333/.434 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 31 major league games.
He likely will be the front-runner for the everyday third base job in spring training, though Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Keppinger could be in the mix, too.
"We feel he has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order run producer for a long time," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "Whether that starts on Opening Day 2014 or soon thereafter, we'll have to figure out over the coming weeks and months as we get to know him ourselves and see him ourselves. He obviously was young for the Triple-A level last year, at age 22, and though he's got a good approach to the plate and the ball jumps off his bat, there is still a little bit of refinement that can take place.
"We'll decide whether that's best to take place in Triple-A or at the major league level. I do feel when he does get here, he's going to be here for a long time."
The deal cost Chicago the services of Reed. The 24-year-old right-hander saved 40 games in 48 chances last season, posting a 3.79 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings.
Right-hander Nate Jones, 27, is the favorite to take over as the White Sox's closer. Jones went 4-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 70 games for Chicago last season, and he is 12-5 with a 3.31 ERA in 135 relief outings over the past two seasons.
--DH/1B Paul Konerko's future was very up-in-the-air at the start of the offseason, as the team captain was weighing retirement or playing elsewhere. But in signing the free agent to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, it was a win-win for both sides. The Sox have a veteran leader in the clubhouse and a guy that can mentor 1B Jose Abreu, while Konerko gets to be a part-time player and walk off into the sunset on his terms. "I'm excited about it because, truthfully, I wouldn't be coming back to any situation if I knew I was slated to play a lot," Konerko said. The veteran, who will turn 38 on March 5, will play against lefty pitchers in his reserve role.
--LHP Chris Sale was the trade rumor of the winter meetings, and one that wasn't accurate, according to board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "I only had one player in my 33 years of sports who couldn't be traded," Reinsdorf said. "He wore No. 23 -- and 45 when he played baseball (Michael Jordan). I never had another player that couldn't be traded. ... But I would be very surprised." Sale is considered the face of the organization moving forward, and signed a favorable contract that could keep him on the South Side through 2019.
--RHP Felipe Paulino was signed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal with a $4 million club option for 2015 during the winter meetings, and is being penciled in as a guy that will enter spring training in the rotation. "When he's right and healthy, we see him as a power arm with four pitches and a guy who can be a quality starter in a big-league rotation," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Based on our medical reports and where he has progressed to, we have every reason to believe he'll be able to help us come Opening Day." What the Sox like is if Paulino is needed as a long reliever, he is versatile enough to do that as well.
--C Adrian Nieto, 24, was selected by the Sox with the third pick in the Rule 5 draft to close out the winter meetings, and there is a starting job there for him to win. The Sox brought back Tyler Flowers with a one-year deal and have homegrown Josh Phegley looking to compete behind the plate again, but the Sox were definitely weak behind the plate. In 110 games with Class A Potomac last season, Nieto hit .285 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs, 53 RBIs, 68 runs scored and a .373 on-base percentage. He threw out 33.3 percent (42-of-126) of attempted base stealers during his 86 starts behind the plate. "Obviously, we've talked about wanting to upgrade or potentially have some competition at the catcher's position," Hahn said. "This is just another avenue to bringing someone in. Any time you take a guy in Rule 5, you are rushing his development a little bit, so it's a longer shot of it working out. But this kid made some real nice strides in 2013."
--OF Alejandro De Aza could be the odd-man out, or at least out of a starting job if the Sox don't trade him, after the team acquired OF Adam Eaton during the winter meetings. Hahn already indicated that Eaton will be given the chance to start in center field -- De Aza's spot -- as well as win the leadoff spot -- also De Aza's spot. With Dayan Viciedo in left field and Avisail Garcia in right, De Aza is a fourth outfielder at best right now for the Sox.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think of myself as a Lenny Dykstra-Kenny Lofton mix, a scrappy dirtbag who gets after it day in and day out. It's a new beginning, new club, new city. I'm really looking forward to it." -- OF Adam Eaton, on what type of player he is and what he hopes to bring to the Sox after being acquired in a three-team trade.
General manager Rick Hahn knew he had a rebuilding project this offseason and took steps in doing so by adding four young offensive players since last July.
RF Avisail Garcia, 22, was acquired at the trade deadline by sending RHP Jake Peavy to Boston, and then in November, the Sox outbid the competition to sign Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, 26, to play first base, throwing a six-year, $68 million contract at him.
CF Adam Eaton was acquired in a three-team trade during the winter meetings, and all three are already penciled in to be starters to a new-look offense.
3B Matt Davidson was acquired from Arizona, and he will have a chance to win a job in the spring, too.
The Sox still feel like they have the payroll to add players during the season if the team is challenging, but this is definitely a rebuilding year.
BIGGEST NEEDS: The bullpen still needs some help, especially after RHP Addison Reed was dealt. Considering the Sox finished 14th in the American League in home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and 15th in runs per game, really no spot in the starting lineup should be safe heading into spring training.
ARRIVALS: 1B Jose Abreu (free agent from Cuba), RHP Ronald Belisario (free agent from Dodgers), RHP Felipe Paulino (free agent from Royals), CF Adam Eaton (trade with Diamondbacks), 3B Matt Davidson (trade with Diamondbacks)
DEPARTURES: LHP Hector Santiago (traded to Angels), RHP Addison Reed (traded to Diamondbacks), RHP Gavin Floyd (free agent, signed with Braves)
FREE AGENTS: RHP Dylan Axelrod
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: 2B Gordon Beckham, OF Alejandro De Aza, OF Dayan Viciedo
Beckham, De Aza and Viciedo likely will return to the Sox, despite their inconsistent seasons. Beckham started off red-hot, despite injuries, but crawled to the finish line, while De Aza had a slow start as the leadoff hitter before having a better second half. Viciedo was solid but unspectacular in his fourth season.
IN LIMBO: DH/1B Adam Dunn
With 1B Paul Konerko deciding to play one more year, and with 1B Jose Abreu coming to the South Side, Dunn is a trade candidate. However, moving $15 million for a player with Dunn's recent stats won't be easy.
--INF Jeff Keppinger (exploratory right shoulder surgery in September 2013) did not need structural repairs. He is expected to be ready by spring training.
--C Tyler Flowers (right shoulder surgery in September 2013) has an expected recovery time of three to six months, but is ahead of schedule and should be ready for spring training.
--RHP Brian Omogrosso (right elbow surgery in August 2013) had bone spurs removed.
--RHP Felipe Paulino (shoulder surgery in September 2013) should be ready for spring training.
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