Well, this one came out of nowhere.
— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) December 16, 2013
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com is reporting that the Chicago White Sox are nearing a trade that would send closer Addison Reed to Arizona in exchange for third baseman Matt Davidson. (Update: The deal is now confirmed by both teams)
First, the fact that the White Sox would be sending away one of their better young assets in Reed is the biggest headline here. Reed saved 40 games for Chicago last season, posting a 3.79 ERA (3.17 FIP) in 71.1 innings of action, and generating 1.7 WAR (according to FanGraphs) as a relief pitcher. There is always the debate about just how “valuable” closers are in today’s baseball, but Reed was one of the better ones in terms of games finished last season, and at only 24 years old (25 by the start of 2014), he’s still quite young.
On the flip side, Arizona would be shipping out another young player in Davidson (who would be 23 in 2014), who grabbed 87 plate appearances as a late call-up in 2013. Davidson has been touted as a power hitter from the hot corner as a prospect, and he hit 17 home runs in 500 plate appearances in AAA last season. Still, many are “down” on Davidson’s lack of development, and it would seem as if Chicago is buying low on an asset, even if Davidson was ranked as the best power hitting prospect in the Arizona situation.
It remains to be seen who “won” the deal, but there are two sides to this one. As far as Major League accomplishment and “safety”, it looks like the D-Backs may have pulled a coup, but on the side of “positional players are more valuable, etc.”, Chicago is showing that they have an eye toward the future.