Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox closer competition is wide open

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The Chicago White Sox traded closer Addison Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a three team deal earlier this off-season. Reed was solid in the 9th inning in 2013, saving 40 games, not to mention that he’s young and he’s cheap. Even if the White Sox are especially excited about outfielder Adam Eaton or third baseman Matt Davidson, who they received in the deal, there is risk involved in parting with Reed.

As for who will step into the closer’s role for the White Sox in 2014, they have a number of options. As Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago writes:

The White Sox won’t name their new fireman before Opening Day but Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom and Daniel Webb are the strongest candidates to assume the role.”

Lindstrom’s problem has never been stuff and has always been health. Prior to making 76 appearances for the White Sox in 2013, he had missed significant time in seasons prior (especially in 2012). He consistently runs his fastball up there in the mid to upper 90’s and has 45 career saves.

Jones was filthy in at times in 2013, posting a 10.27 K/9 rate in 70 appearances of his own. He last closed in Double-A ball in 2011 (12 saves) and has not filled that role on the big league level. In only nine appearances in 2013, Webb was good: 3.18 ERA and a fastball that average 95.6 MPH in 11.1 innings.

If they wish, the White Sox can roll the dice with a high upside option considering the fact that they are very unlikely to contend in 2013 with an aging lineup and shaky rotation. It will be interesting to see if they go that route or let the veteran (Lindstrom) take the job to start the year.

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Tags: Chicago White Sox Matt Lindstrom Nate Jones

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