The Twins on Saturday agreed to a deal with free-agent reliever Addison Reed, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal.
The terms of the deal, which is still pending a physical, are 2 years and slightly less than $17 million, according to Rosenthal.
Free-agent reliever Addison Reed in agreement with #MNTwins on two-year deal for slightly under $17M, sources tell The Athletic. Pending a physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 13, 2018
Reed, who will be 29 years old on opening day, adds another trusworthy arm to the back end of Minnesota’s bullpen. The team had already added Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke in free agency, and already boasted Trevor Hildenberger from last year’s club.
For conext, Wade Davis was widely believed to be the top available reliever on the free agent market this winter, and he signed a contract worth $52 million over 3 years — or roughly $17.3 million per season. To get Reed at that value over two years is a good deal for the Twins.
Over the past 3 seasons, Reed has a 2.66 ERA in 209 2/3 innings split between the Diamondbacks, Mets and Red Sox. He’s got a solid 25.6% strikeout rate over that span, paired with an excellent 4% walk rate (after accounting for intentional free passes). Last year, Reed had a 2.84 ERA in 76 innings for the Mets and Red Sox. He struck out a batter per inning and again limited walks (4.9% walk rate ranked 3rd in the National League last year). There’s value in simply not walking people, but it’s worth noting that Reed’s 24% strikeout rate was exactly 50th among N.L. relievers last year.
Fernando Rodney said on a conference call that he was told he’d be the Twins closer. I’m wondering how Reed impacts that dynamic, because now at least two other pitchers could make the claim that they’re the best reliever in the Twins’ bullpen: Reed and Hildenberger.
If there’s a concern with Reed, it’s that he doesn’t have the big fastball of some of the other marquee late-inning relievers, and he gave up 11 home runs last year. That’s a lot of long balls, but it didn’t exactly prevent him from being an effective reliever lsat year.
Addison Reed’s track record, overall, spells reliable. He was amazing in 2016, and a little less so in 2017. For the Twins to sign him to pitch for two years at the same price the Rockies will pay Davis to pitch one season, I’d say the Twins are getting the better value.