New D-Back Addison Reed intends to make it “hard for them to give me any other role” than closer

Arizona Sports News online

While Kevin Towers and the Arizona Diamondbacks were at the baseball winter meetings, they made a deal with the Chicago White Sox as part of a three team deal that sent Adam Eaton to Chicago and Trumbo to the D-Backs.

But the talking did not stop there with the team from the south side of Chicago.

The White Sox had expressed a lot of interest in third baseman Matt Davidson who broke into the big leagues in the final months of the season. Kevin Towers at first had no interest in trading Davidson but then the Sox mentioned according to Towers, “What if it meant acquiring our closer Addison Reed?”

Knowing the struggles the Diamondbacks had in the back end of their bullpen last season as well as the success Reed has had the last year and a half, we fast forward to Monday morning as the two teams agreed to the trade of Davidson to Chicago for Reed.

“He (Reed) certainly was very successful at it (closing) last year for the white sox,” Towers said on Monday afternoon. “We had our issues last year there with the ball club.”

“My initial reaction was shock but after it all sank in I couldn’t be more happy,” Reed mentioned. “Playing in Arizona, sunny all the time and I am looking forward to getting started.”

It has been a fast road to success for Reed as a pro. In 2011, Reed and the White Sox organization decided that his best fit would be as a closer and would put him on the fastest track to the bigs. In 3 seasons with the White Sox, he went 8-6 with 69 saves and a 4.17 ERA in 136 career relief appearances while holding opponents to a .243 average with 42 walks and 138 strikeouts.

Now that Reed joins an Arizona staff which blew 29 saves a year ago which was tied with Houston for the most in the major leagues, whether or not the closer job is his now that he arrives in Arizona remains to be seen. But he intends to do whatever it takes for it to be his role.

“I am going into spring training and I intend to prove to them that I plan to do everything I can to pitch in the ninth inning and thats my job,” Reed stated. “I plan to make it hard for them to give me any other role than that ninth inning. It has been a life long dream to be a closer.”

‘We haven’t even had him in uniform yet with us but we are going to give him every opportunity and will go with the best guy when spring training ends,” Towers added.

As Reed mentions, closer has always been a life long dream. Growing up in Southern California, he was a big fan of the Angels. It was a closer for them that was his favorite player growing up and decided that is who he wanted to emulate.

“I love it,” said Reed about pitching in the ninth inning. “I grew up in Southern California going and watching Troy Percival. Throwing in the 9th is what I have always wanted to do and everything Ive dreamed of.”

On the other side, the Diamondbacks have now traded four players who were top ten prospects in their farm system going into the 2013 season (Tyler Skaggs-Angels, David Holmberg-Reds, and Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson-White Sox). Davidson was the futures game MVP and home run derby champion last season and was considered the organizations number two prospect behind Archie Bradley as the year came to a close.

But Towers mentioned that the depth at that corner infield spot is something they have plenty of which made Davidson a movable piece.

“Looking at (Jake) Lamb and (Brandon) Drury being a little further away and having (Martin) Prado for the next few years, we didn’t see Davidson getting many at-bats,” explained Towers.

Still on the D-Backs’ agenda is adding bench players and are hoping Eric Chavez, who played a lot of third base off the bench for them last season, will return to the team.