- Doug Padilla, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox continued their attempt to revamp their offense, and again used the pitching staff to do it.
The White Sox acquired third baseman Matt Davidson from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for closer Addison Reed. Davidson, 22, appeared in just 31 games (18 starts at third base) this past season with the Diamondbacks but put up impressive numbers in Triple-A.
"We feel he has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order run producer for a long time, whether that starts on Opening Day 2014 or soon thereafter, we'll have to figure out over the coming weeks and months as we come to know him and see him for ourselves," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
"He obviously was young for the Triple-A level last year at age 22 and although he has a good approach at the plate and the ball jumps off the bat, there is a little refinement to take place and we'll decide if that needs to take place here or at the Triple-A level. I do feel that when he does get here he will be here for a long time. We have to pick the right time to start that."
At Triple-A Reno in 2013, Davidson batted .280 with a .350 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage. He hit 17 home runs with 74 RBIs and scored 55 runs. He was a Pacific Coast League midseason All-Star and was named MVP of the Futures Game in New York after hitting a go-ahead, two-run home run for the United States.
The 35th pick in the 2009 draft entered the season ranked by Baseball America as Arizona's No. 4 overall prospect and top-ranked power hitter in the Diamondbacks' organization.
Reed, 24, recorded 40 saves for the White Sox this past season, fifth-most in the American League and tied for fourth in franchise history. He had a 3.79 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 68 relief appearances. Over three seasons with the White Sox, the former third-round draft pick had 69 saves and 138 strikeouts over 136 appearances with a 4.17 ERA.
Arizona GM Kevin Towers said Reed will be given every opportunity to be Arizona's closer coming out of spring training.
"I'm going into spring training and I'm going to try to do everything I can to prove to them that that ninth inning belongs to me and compete for that job," Reed said. "Closer is the only thing I've ever dreamed of, the only thing I've ever wanted, so I'm going to make their decision as tough as possible to put me in any position other than the ninth inning."
Defensively, Davidson is still considered to be a work in progress, but had progressed under former Diamondbacks coach Matt Williams, a former major league third baseman himself.
"He has a strong arm, good hands," Hahn said. "The question you'll hear time to time from scouts, and has been written about, is the lateral movement. We think it's improved and it will continue to improve. We see him there for a long time once the development is finished."
"While it's certainly never easy giving up home-grown players like Santiago or Addison Reed, guys we have drafted and developed and have had success, we did feel it was imperative to start addressing some of these position-player issues that we have in a way that can not only help us in 2014 but perhaps more importantly help us in the long haul," Hahn said. "We feel we have gotten a good start at doing that over the last 12 months."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
2dKevin Van Valkenburg