On Tuesday morning, Addison Reed woke up, looked in the mirror and saw an Arizona Diamondbacks player staring back at him. Less than 24 hours after being traded for the first time in his young career, the deal that sent the right-hander from the White Sox to the desert started to sink in.
"It's an awesome feeling, and I can't wait to start up." Reed said from his home in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
The Southern California native is about to turn 25. He has a lightning bolt for an arm, recorded 69 saves in the last two seasons, and he is affordable for any Major League team.
Sounds like the kind of guy you hold onto. So was the deal a blow to his confidence? And why was he traded?
The answer to that first question is simple.
Reed was quick to point out what many have said before: It's part of the game.
"There's almost a zero-percent chance you're going to stay with the team you were drafted by," he said.
As to why he was traded, Reed answered that question by making a quick transformation from closer to scout.
"The guy they traded me for is an awesome athlete," he said. "Some of the best power I've ever seen."
Reed should know. He actually works out in the offseason with Matt Davidson, a third baseman who scouts believe can blossom into an everyday star and Reed's counterpart in the deal.
Reed calls Davidson's power "unbelievable." So is, Reed says, that fact that two guys who work out together in the same gym in Rancho Cucamonga could be traded for each other.
When Reed and Davidson get together for the first time since the trade, few words will be spoken. They'll make an exchange to truly finalize the deal.
"I think I'll bring my White Sox bag and he'll bring his Arizona bag and we'll just switch and we won't need to get any gear from the new cubbies," Reed said.
Speaking of gear, shortly after the trade, Reed tweeted a picture of a handsome blonde haired kid wearing an old-style D-backs uniform. The lad in the picture was Reed more than a decade ago sporting his Little League garb.
Reed joked that he kept the picture because he knew that one day he would wind up in Arizona via a trade. In reality, the credit goes to his mom. She made a scrapbook years ago, and this was the perfect time to revisit the past.
As for the future, Reed is psyched to get meet his new teammates and play for a high-octane manager like Kirk Gibson. But make no mistake, Chicago will be missed. The city and the club. The city for its incredible restaurants and its fans. The team for the chemistry.
"It was a family atmosphere," Reed said. "Everybody was in it together. Everybody hung out with each other. Everybody had each others backs."
Reed should expect a similar environment in the D-backs' clubhouse, but he should also expect major competition in Spring Training. The closer's role will not be handed to him. Brad Ziegler, J.J. Putz and David Hernandez also figure to compete for the ninth-inning gig in a bullpen that needs major improvement.
Reed is looking to step up his game. While his fastball is the pitch that put him on the map a few seasons ago, it's his secondary pitches that need improvement and consistency.
"Last year, I got to the point where I could throw my slider in any count and got real comfortable with it," he said. "Now I have the same goal for my changeup."
Reed's plate is full. He wants to improve his repertoire, learn the tendencies of National League hitters, meet new teammates and nail down the closer's job. While there are sure to be bumps in the road, at least one thing is certain: Reed's future as a star in MLB remains bright. As bright as the Arizona sun.
Matt Yallof is the co-host of The Rundown on MLB Network from 2-4 p.m. ET. Follow him on twitter @mattyallofmlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less