The White Sox and Diamondbacks hooked up on their second trade in the past week, with Chicago sending closer Addison Reed to Arizona for third-base prospect Matt Davidson. The trade was first reported by MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.
Last Tuesday, Arizona received Mark Trumbo in a three-way deal with the Angels and White Sox, who received outfielder Adam Eaton from the Diamondbacks while sending left-hander Hector Santiago to Anaheim.
Reed saved 40 games for Chicago this season, posting a 3.79 ERA and 72:23 K:BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings. The 24-year-old reliever upped his strikeout rate from 22.7 percent to 24.4 to go along with a 7.8-percent walk rate (up slightly from 7.6). However, his eight blown saves were the second most in the league; only the Orioles' Jim Johnson (nine) had more.
Reed, who turns 25 in late December, really struggled in September, making nine appearances with three blown saves for Chicago. The former White Sox closer joins a bullpen with J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez, but Reed should be in line for the majority of the save opportunities. Arizona isn't the friendliest of ballparks for fly-ball pitchers like Reed, but he -- for the most part -- held his own in an unfriendly pitching environment in Chicago. Reed's value remains as a top-15 closer (probably closer to No. 12), but switching from the American League to the National League could lead to better strikeout numbers, as he'll be facing many new faces for the first time. In the minors, Reed produced 155 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings.
Update: This is all under the assumption that Reed is handed Arizona's closing gig, which isn't a sure thing apparently:
New #Dbacks reliever Addison Reed said he is expecting to compete for closer's role this spring.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) December 16, 2013
While Reed's fantasy value goes up ever so slightly, Davidson moves to the South Side with a clearer path to playing time. The 22-year-old and Arizona's No. 4 prospect, according to Baseball America, will go into spring training with a very good chance of coming out as the White Sox everyday third baseman, as Chicago's other options include Jeff Keppinger and Conor Gillaspie.
I wrote about Davidson in late September at The Dynasty Guru, with the following thoughts:
"Davidson, 22, has displayed plenty of pop in the minors, blasting 23 home runs in 575 PAs in Double-A and, most recently, 17 home runs in 500 PAs in Triple-A. In his big league cup of tea (I'm trying to wean myself off drinking too much coffee), Davidson has shown promise with a .250/.351/.453 slash, including three home runs and four doubles in 64 at-bats. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Davidson is a big kid with a big swing, as evidenced by 616 strikeouts in 591 minor league games. He offsets it, however, with a solid walk rate-he has nine walks against 19 strikeouts in his first 27 games with Arizona.
Pending any offseason moves, Davidson will have a chance to win the third base job in spring training and he's a worth the speculation add as a potential corner infield play. In a perfect world, he can give you 20 home runs while maintaining a .250 BA to go along with a plus on-base percentage."
Davidson is already getting plenty of love on Twitter, but he's no sure thing to step right in and be an everyday producer. The Diamondbacks, reportedly, didn't view Davidson as a third baseman, and Arizona's first-base spot is currently filled by Paul Goldschmidt. If Davidson doesn't stick at third base in Chicago, they can always put him at DH or first when Paul Konerko retires.
Davidson offsets his swing-and-miss tendencies with solid walk rates, and he'll need to continue that trend to succeed at the major-league level. My view on Davidson doesn't change much based on the change of scenery; I still see a best possible outcome of a .240-.250 BA and 20 home runs in 2014. But, in future years, his power upside could lead to a 30-home run campaign (if I'm going to be my most optimistic); it just won't come with a pretty batting average.
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