Reed always dreamed of being a closer

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Reed always dreamed of being a closer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the White Sox traded Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for minor league starter Nestor Molina during the winter meetings, it left a vacant hole in the back of the bullpen.

Who will be the closer? Matt Thornton? Jesse Crain?

If 23-year-old Addison Reed has his way, it will be him.

Growing up, honestly I always dreamed of being a closer, Reed said on Saturday. I dont know but for some reason, maybe it was going to Angels games and watching Troy Percival run out in the 9th inning. Something about that made me want to be a closer. Ive never, ever wanted to be a starter, so I guess its a good start Im already in the pen.

When the White Sox third round pick in 2010 was called up last September, he certainly proved he had the stuff to pitch in the big leagues.

Just ask Miguel Cabrera.

Reed faced the Tigers power hitter twice last season. He struck him out both times. The 6-foot-4 California native went on to strike out 12 batters in 7.1 innings, while posting a 3.68 ERA.

Does Reed have the mentality to be a closer?

I really have no idea, he said. They always say that closers are always a little different.

Is he?

Thats the thing. Thats for everybody else to judge. I think Im normal. Maybe Im not.

For now, his No. 1 goal is to be with the major league team when it arrives in Texas for Opening Day. Everything will sort itself out after that.

Reed only has one month of big league experience, but he learned a lot in his brief time with the club last September.

It kind of makes me a little more comfortable now. Not walking on egg shells, Reed said. Last year I was kind of nervous the first couple times I was up throwing. But after I got over throwing those first couple innings I felt like I was throwing again in the minor leagues. That was the biggest thing that helped me, getting comfortable, just getting adjusted to the game. For some reason you start thinking its a different game. Its honestly just the same game, so once I realized that, everything seemed to go well.

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

White Sox agree to one-year deals with Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia

Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.

The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.

The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.

Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.

Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.

He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.

Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.

The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.

The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

White Sox announcer Jason Benetti cracks Crain's 40 under 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its latest 40 under 40 project and White Sox announcer Jason Benetti made this year's list.

The 33-year-old just finished his first season with the White Sox as play-by-play announcer, working the home games at U.S. Cellular Field (before it was renamed Guaranteed Rate Field last month) alongside Steve Stone as longtime broadcaster Hawk Harrelson saw his workload reduced to mostly road games.

Benetti quickly became a fan favorite among Chicagoans on CSN and other networks in 2016 and his cerebral palsy became more of a backstory, with his work alongside Stone and his affable sense of humor taking center stage instead.

Among other topics, Benetti discussed how he approaches his job of broadcasting for the team he grew up rooting for:

Law school taught me that there are always two sides of the argument. I see it from the Sox prism, but I can’t believe in my heart of hearts that, if the Sox lose, the world’s over anymore. That first game, I was like, “All right, it’s just a game.” And then Avi Garcia hits a homer late in the game against the Indians and I call it like I would call it with a little more. And as the ball cleared the fence, when it was rolling around, I got a slight tear in my eye. And I was like, “What’s that?”

Check out the entire interview with Benetti and the full list at ChicagoBusiness.com.