White Sox

Reed always dreamed of being a closer

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Reed always dreamed of being a closer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the White Sox traded Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for minor league starter Nestor Molina during the winter meetings, it left a vacant hole in the back of the bullpen.

Who will be the closer? Matt Thornton? Jesse Crain?

If 23-year-old Addison Reed has his way, it will be him.

Growing up, honestly I always dreamed of being a closer, Reed said on Saturday. I dont know but for some reason, maybe it was going to Angels games and watching Troy Percival run out in the 9th inning. Something about that made me want to be a closer. Ive never, ever wanted to be a starter, so I guess its a good start Im already in the pen.

When the White Sox third round pick in 2010 was called up last September, he certainly proved he had the stuff to pitch in the big leagues.

Just ask Miguel Cabrera.

Reed faced the Tigers power hitter twice last season. He struck him out both times. The 6-foot-4 California native went on to strike out 12 batters in 7.1 innings, while posting a 3.68 ERA.

Does Reed have the mentality to be a closer?

I really have no idea, he said. They always say that closers are always a little different.

Is he?

Thats the thing. Thats for everybody else to judge. I think Im normal. Maybe Im not.

For now, his No. 1 goal is to be with the major league team when it arrives in Texas for Opening Day. Everything will sort itself out after that.

Reed only has one month of big league experience, but he learned a lot in his brief time with the club last September.

It kind of makes me a little more comfortable now. Not walking on egg shells, Reed said. Last year I was kind of nervous the first couple times I was up throwing. But after I got over throwing those first couple innings I felt like I was throwing again in the minor leagues. That was the biggest thing that helped me, getting comfortable, just getting adjusted to the game. For some reason you start thinking its a different game. Its honestly just the same game, so once I realized that, everything seemed to go well.

Potential White Sox target comes off board as Madison Bumgarner signs with Diamondbacks

Potential White Sox target comes off board as Madison Bumgarner signs with Diamondbacks

Having already lost out on Zack Wheeler, the White Sox can now scratch another free agent pitcher off the list of potential targets.

Sunday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the Diamondbacks are nearing a five-year deal with former Giants star Madison Bumgarner worth $85 million.

The White Sox weren’t heavily rumored to be pursuing Bumgarner and signing him was somewhat unrealistic. Although the South Siders are looking to add a starting pitcher or two this winter, Bumgarner enjoys hitting and therefore seemed more likely to sign with a National League team. The 30-year-old’s career OPS is .532 but he’s hit 19 homers in 11 seasons.

Adding Bumgarner would have provided the South Siders a veteran starter — one with an excellent postseason track record — to mix with their young rotation featuring Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease. With MadBum off the board, the list of major free agent pitchers continues to shrink. 

Lefties Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu are still available, but other teams that missed out on Bumgarner will shift their focus to the duo. Consequently, the White Sox will face stiff competition if they wish to sign either pitcher. Both were expected to be more affordable than Bumgarner but interested teams may be willing to offer more money to ensure they don’t come out of free agency empty-handed.

Where the White Sox turn next is to be determined. What's certain is they're running out of free agent options to upgrade their rotation.

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Indians signal big shift with trade of Corey Kluber

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USA TODAY

Indians signal big shift with trade of Corey Kluber

The Indians have won more than 90 games in each of the past four seasons, with three AL Central titles in that span, but big changes are coming in Cleveland.

With rumors of a Francisco Lindor trade still floating around, the Indians have dealt two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to Texas. The return package from the Rangers includes outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and reliever Emmanuel Clase.


DeShields Jr. is a 27-year-old speedster who has struggled offensively since debuting with the Rangers in 2015. He has a career .668 OPS with a .591 OPS in 2018 and a .672 OPS last season. For comparison, White Sox outfielder Adam Engel had a .614 OPS in 2018 and a .687 OPS in 2019.

Clase is a 21-year-old righthander who debuted with the Rangers last season. He is a hard-thrower, capable of reaching 102 mph with his fastball while also getting cut action on it. Clase had a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings in the majors in 2019. Still, he is only rated as the No. 30 prospect in the Rangers’ system by MLB Pipeline.

The Kluber trade is relevant to the White Sox because it’s a division power trading away a key player for younger, less established talent. It also shows the price to pay for a noteworthy pitcher in a trade.

If the White Sox fail to land a marquee starting pitcher in free agency, a trade is the next route.

The Kluber deal may have implications for the Cubs as well. Texas appears to be intent on competing with the Astros, A's and Angels in the AL West. The Rangers have been linked to free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson, and if he winds up in Texas, that would clarify possible trade partners for Kris Bryant.

Back in the AL Central, Kluber was a stud for the Indians from 2014-2018. He surpassed 200 innings each of those seasons and had a 2.85 ERA in that five-year period.

Last season, however, Kluber was limited to 35.2 innings in seven starts after getting hit by a line drive on May 1, which fractured his right arm. Even before the injury, the 33-year-old righthander struggled with a 5.80 ERA and the highest walk rate of his career (15 in 35.2 innings).

The Indians didn’t win the AL Central last season, but the fact that they won 93 games with only seven mostly ineffective starts from Kluber is a sign that he may not be as essential as he was in previous years.

Perhaps the return for Kluber is more a sign of a lack of belief in him after a tough 2019, but this level of package is something the White Sox could put together without trading a core piece of the future.

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