For months Robin Ventura has played coy about the White Sox’s closer role, refusing to give anyone that title, but yesterday he finally relented and made official what has been obvious: The job belongs to rookie Addison Reed.
“He’s earned that,” Ventura told Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago. “I feel comfortable with him in there. That’s who we’d be using if we’re winning. I don’t think he care. I just think he just wants the ball and pitches.”
Reed was the seemingly obvious choice to replace Sergio Santos at closer the whole time, but for whatever reason Ventura decided to go with fellow rookie Hector Santiago early on despite little in his track record suggesting he could thrive in the role.
On the other hand Reed has done nothing but dominate since the White Sox drafted him in the third round two years ago, storming through the minors and then beginning his big-league career with a 29/8 K/BB ratio in 21 innings. And if things go according to plan for the White Sox, Reed, and Ventura the first-year manager might not have to name another closer until he’s a 10th-year manager.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.