The White Sox and Diamondbacks aren't far removed from their participation in a three-team trade that netted Arizona Mark Trumbo, and the two sides have now made a two-team, one-for-one deal. The Diamondbacks will receive relief help in the form of Addison Reed, while the White Sox collect yet another potentially useful prospect in third baseman Matt Davidson. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal broke the news of the deal on Twitter.
The right-handed Reed will be 25 years old in 2014, and while he won't be arbitration-eligible for another season, he's exactly the kind of piece Chicago general manager Rick Hahn should be moving as he attempts to inject youth and talent into an organization lacking in both. Reed is a good, but not elite, bullpen arm who can hold his own against both lefties and righties, and has two seasons of experience as the White Sox closer. He's struck out over a batter per inning in his major-league career, with three times as many punch outs as free passes to his credit, and, at worst, he should be a better -- and cheaper -- option to close out games than the recently dealt Heath Bell.
Arizona expects to have Reed in addition to former closer J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler, and David Hernandez. Hernandez's 2013 was poor, but he had a huge 2012 with nearly 13 strikeouts per nine and a 2.50 ERA: if he can come anywhere close to that kind of campaign again, then the Diamondbacks should have a stellar bridge between the starters and Reed each night.
As for Davidson, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that the Diamondbacks are unsure about his future at third base, where his footwork is a problem. With no designated hitter in the National League, that's a potential issue, one the White Sox won't have to deal with now that Paul Konerko is more part-time mascot than full-time player -- plus, with the White Sox reloading, they can afford to take the chance on Davidson working out fine anyway. Davidson does have serious power potential that could negate his glove work: Baseball America recently ranked him the fourth-best prospect in the D'backs system, stating that he was selective enough to show off his power even with the contact issues that are expected to keep his batting average low.
Baseball America also expected Davidson to compete for the third base job in the spring, and he will now get that chance with the White Sox. In 2013, White Sox third basemen, a group including Jeff Keppinger and Conor Gillaspie, hit a combined .236/.285/.350, 27 percent below-average for the position according by OPS+: even if Davidson is a disappointment as a rookie, he'll likely trounce that line. The 22-year-old batted .237/.333/.434 in 31 games and 87 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks last year, and while his Triple-A slash of .280/.350/.481 isn't that far ahead of the offense-inflated PCL's average, it's still a far better place to work from than the ugliness of Chicago's pre-Davidson third base situation.