Rick talks Davidson

Tuesday, December 17, 2014

After yesterday’s trade announcement (3B Matt Davidson in exchange for Addison Reed), Rick talked a little bit about the move, how it came about and what it means for the pitching staff.

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On Davidson being Major League ready:

“We were able to acquire in Davidson, another young position player with a chance to be part of our new core. While it’s never easy to give up homegrown players, we did feel it was imperative to start addressing some of the position player issues we have.  You know some of that remains to be seen.  We feel that he has the potential to be a middle of the order run producer for a long time, whether that starts on Opening Day 2014 or soon thereafter.  We’ll have to figure out over the coming weeks and months as we get to know him and see him ourselves.  He was young for the Triple A level last year at age 22.  Although he has a good approach at the plate and the ball jumps off the bat there’s still a little bit of refinement that can take place.  We’ll decide if that’s better to take place at Triple A or at the big league level.  I do feel that when he does get here he’s going to be here for a long time.  We just need to pick the right time to start that.”

On a projected closer:

“I don’t feel the urgency to anoint anyone the closer.  We have some internal candidates such as Nate Jones or Matt Lindstrom or even Daniel Webb, who can potentially fill that role.  We still have some acquisitions which some of them haven’t been announced or at least one of them hasn’t been announced, despite being widely reported, that’s going to help supply some depth for the bullpen.  Frankly our scouts and player development people have done a really nice job over the years providing us with options and I’m confident that’s going to continue.  Just like we entered the 2012 season without anyone specifically anointed the closer, in fact it was Hector who won that job and Addison took it over, we were able to be in first place for a large stretch of that season despite entering spring training without having anyone written in stone in that role.  I just don’t see it’s that essential to do in mid December.”

On Matt’s defense:

“Solid actions, strong arm, good hands, the question that you will hear from time to time with scouts and has been written about publicly is about his lateral movement.  We think it’s going to improve, it’s going to continue to improve, we see him over there for the long term once the development is finished.”

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On how the trade came about:

“The end game was probably quick.  Kevin and I have been talking and we made no secret about going back for several weeks primarily about Adam Eaton, but there were other players in the Diamondback organization that we talked about at times including Matt.  No one probably noticed but right when our press conference ended in Orlando where the three of us were sitting up there talking about the three-way trade I wondered over and said to Kevin we still have interest in Davidson by the way if you see a fit, I think that was Tuesday when we announced that deal.  We started exchanging names on Wednesday and closed the deal off on Friday night.  The end game was quick but the run up took a few weeks.”

On valuing the closer role:

“I don’t think its fair characterization to say that we don’t value it.  I think isn’t more about having confidence in our ability, scouts and coaches to develop someone capable of filling that role.  Look, going back to 2005 we had three different guys close out games in 2005 between Shingo and Hermanson and ultimately Bobby Jenks.  It’s an important role and it’s not an easy job, it’s one where, knock on wood, we have a pretty decent track record in terms of finding the right guy when the need arrives.  It just felt at this time, give where we’ve been from a position side of things, we had to take the opportunity to get what we feel to be a potential long term core position player piece.”

On excitement about Davidson, Aberu, Garcia and Eaton:

“We’re very excited but at the same time we’re optimistic about their future.  We do realize that it’s a process and there’s going to be some growing pains along the way, whether it’s from playing in a new country or playing in a new league or getting your really first extended taste of a big league opportunity, the development path is not going to be linear.  When this thing gets right, when the development is complete and we have these players coming along on the same path it’s really want we’ve been striving for awhile here.  We really want to have a young core not just from a position player standpoint, but from a pitching standpoint with guys like Chris Sale and Jose Quintana and Nate Jones and others that play the game we want it played, that have been ideally developed by guys or least have had the finishing touches put on by our guys and our able to grow together in to a championship group.  These four players that we have acquired since July we feel each have the ability to be an important part of it.  Some of the players we have had at the big league level before could very well be a part of it, as well as some of the players we have coming in the system that are near ready.  When we set out to try and cure some of the things that ailed us last season it was with the intent to do this on a quicker time frame and primarily by adding pieces that were major league ready or near major league ready that could grow together, and over the last few months we feel that we were able to do that.”

On potential moves to come:

“Nothing is just one phone call away just yet.  There are a few other items that we have on our wish list.  All of us here have tried to be realistic as we go through this process and realize that we may not be able to address all of the things on our hit list in one offseason, that it may take us into next season or potentially into the following offseason.  There’s still some things we want to do and frankly I’m not sure if we will ever be able to exhale until we get to win the last game of the postseason, whenever that happens in the future.  We feel good about this start but we know that it’s only a start and we still have a few more items that we hopefully can check off our list in the coming weeks before we get to Glendale.”

On trading Addison:

“I can understand some surprise in that and it’s not like we were out shopping Addison.  He’s certainly a quality big league closer and that has value to us as well as to others.  It was just a matter of continuing the process that we started in July that we felt was a little more pressing and that we had some alternatives to potential step in to Addison’s role.  I certainly get the surprise but hopefully at the same time we have done a decent enough job over the months to try to accomplish what we been doing and where we hope to go.”

On trading young players for other team’s young players:

“Ideally it comes from within and that’s where we are trying to get to and I think we are close to being able to do that.  Someone earlier on the call mentioned Marcus Semien, Micah Johnson, Trayce Thompson and others are getting close to being able to help us in Chicago and we certainly over the years have had many home grown pitchers able to contribute to first place division clubs in Chicago for us.  So until we get to that point we are going to have to continue to acquire good, young potential impact position players from other organizations, but I do feel that day of us being able to self efficient in that regard is not too far off.”

On confidence to develop pitching:

“Our scouts have been able to find and sign big league quality pitching talent and it’s a nice luxury for someone in the GM seat to have, but you never feel good about trading young pitching because it’s extremely difficult to acquire in this game.  It does give me some level of confidence knowing that we got those same scouts and PD guys in place, that have developed guys over a decade plus, to find replacements going forward.”  

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