After acquiring Mark Trumbo last week, the Arizona Diamondbacks made another notable trade on Monday, acquiring pitcher Addison Reed from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for third baseman Matt Davidson. Apart from Arizona’s apparent desire to become a legitimate contender in 2014, how does the move affect each guy’s fantasy value?
Reed had 69 saves as the closer for the White Sox over the last two seasons, including 40 saves (in 48 opportunities) with a 3.79 ERA and solid peripherals (9.1 K/9, 2.9 BB/9) in 2013. Diamondbacks’ general manager Kevin Towers stopped short of naming him the team’s closer immediately after the deal, but Reed is better suited to the role than Brad Ziegler (13 saves in 2013) and J.J. Putz blew five of his 11 save opportunities last season while making just 40 appearances due to elbow and finger issues.
Even if Reed doesn’t open the season as Arizona’s closer, it should only be a matter of time before he proves worthy of the role and usurps Putz or Ziegler. 40 saves would be a solid projection for Reed under the assumption he starts the season as the closer, but if his ERA stays closer to 4.00 than 3.00 he will not become an elite fantasy option next year.
Davidson hit .280 with 17 home runs and 74 RBI over 115 games at Triple-A Reno last season, and over the last three seasons in the minors he had 60 home runs and 256 RBI along with 99 doubles. He made his major league debut late in the season, and hit .237 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 31 games (87 plate appearances) for the Diamondbacks.
Conor Gillaspie started 107 games at third base for the White Sox last season, but he did not have a great season (.245, 13 home runs and 40 RBI over 408 at-bats) and the door should be open for Davidson to take the job from him next spring.
Davidson is on the radar in keeper leagues already, and as long as he earns a spot on Chicago’s Opening Day roster he will be draftable in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues next spring.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.