PHOENIX (AP) — 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.