The Diamondbacks announced today that they’ve optioned former closer Addison Reed to Triple-A Reno. His spot on the roster will go to right-hander Enrique Burgos, who has been activated from the disabled list.
The option is the latest event in what has been a stark decline for Reed, who was acquired from the White Sox two offseasons ago in exchange for well-regarded third base prospect Matt Davidson. Reed’s first season with the D-Backs didn’t go as well as he’d hoped, but the San Diego State product held the closer’s job all season and saved 32 games, albeit with a mediocre 4.25 ERA.
Though Reed’s ERA wasn’t stellar, stats like xFIP (3.26) and SIERA (2.68) loved Reed’s skill set in 2014. He averaged a career-best 10.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 last season, creating some reason for optimism heading into the 2015 campaign. However, things have gone worse in just about every facet for Reed this year. In 24 1/3 innings, he’s sporting a 5.92 ERA, and while in 2014 he was plagued by an elevated homer-to-flyball ratio, he’s actually been lucky in terms of home runs allowed this season. Reed is averaging just 7.4 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9, and while he’s had his share of bad luck on balls in play (.363 BABIP), Reed’s skills seem to have genuinely taken a step back in 2015.
The D-Backs and Reed agreed to a one-year, $4.875MM salary to avoid arbitration this offseason. Even with a poor season likely holding down a potential raise, Reed’s already-notable salary will make him a non-tender candidate this winter if he’s unable to right the ship and rediscover the form that made him an attractive trade chip to Arizona in the first place.
The amount of time that Reed spends in the minors will also be worth keeping an eye on. The 26-year-old entered the year with three years, 27 days of Major League service time, meaning he needed an additional 145 days to stay on track to hit free agency following the 2017 season. To this point, he’s accrued 77 of the necessary 145 but still needs 68 days in the Majors to reach four full years of service. Entering play tonight, there are 106 days of the Major League season remaining. That seems like plenty of time for Reed to be recalled and accumulate the necessary service time, but an extended stay in the minors could theoretically impact his timeline to six-year free agent status.
With Reed no longer in the ninth inning, closing duties have fallen to Brad Ziegler, who has performed well in his limited time in the role. Since being called upon for his first save on May 21, Ziegler has worked to a 2.31 ERA and saved 10 games in 11 2/3 innings, although an even 4-to-4 K/BB ratio in that span leaves something to be desired.