Diamondbacks acquire closer Reed from White Sox

Arizona general manager Kevin Towers went into baseball’s winter

meetings looking for a starting pitcher, not giving much thought to

the back end of his pitching staff.

When the Chicago White Sox called and asked if he’d be

interested in closer Addison Reed, Towers jumped at the chance to

improve a part of the team that’s struggled the past couple of

seasons.

The Diamondbacks bolstered their bullpen on Monday by acquiring

Reed in a trade that sent third base prospect Matt Davidson to the

White Sox.

”I didn’t think he’d be available, to be quite honest,” Towers

said. ”We weren’t really focused on the back end of the bullpen,

we didn’t see, in my eyes at least, any direct match with them and

through conversation they said would you be interested in our

closer Addison Reed. Well, yes, with some of the issues we had in

our bullpen.”

The Diamondbacks finished 81-81 for the second straight season,

a total that clearly could have been higher if the bullpen didn’t

tie Houston for the most blown saves in the majors with 29.

Reed should give Arizona an upgrade at the back end and

stability, with four years still left on his contract.

The 24-year-old right-hander was seventh in the majors with 40

saves last season and finished 5-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 68

appearances. Opponents hit .215 against Reed, who had 72

strikeouts, 23 walks and eight blown saves.

Towers said Reed, who has 69 saves since 2012, 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.”

The Diamondbacks traded away two of their best young players in

a three-way trade at the winter meetings, unloading outfielder Adam

Eaton and left-hander Tyler Skaggs for slugger Mark Trumbo.

Davidson was considered one of Arizona’s top prospects and hit

.280 with 32 doubles, 17 homers and 74 RBIs with Triple-A Reno last

season. The 22-year-old hit .237 with three homers in 31 games in

the majors, but wasn’t expected to get many at-bats with the

Diamondbacks’ infield depth.

The White Sox used Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Keppinger at third

base last season, and Davidson gives them a potentially big bat in

the future.

”We feel that he (Davidson) has the potential to be a

middle-of-the-order run producer for a long time,” White Sox GM

Rick Hahn said. ”Whether that starts on Opening Day 2014 or soon

thereafter, we’ll have to figure out over the coming weeks and

months as we get to know him and see him ourselves. He obviously

was young for the Triple-A level last year.”

AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed to this

story.