PHOENIX, Ariz -- He’s the general manager of a major league baseball team who, when I asked about outfielder Adam Eaton and third baseman Matt Davidson, he couldn’t help but rave about them.
“They’ve got two quality, great character guys over there and I think the fan base will really enjoy both of them. One’s a little bit cockier, a little loud (Eaton), the other one, very quiet and subdued (Davidson), but both are good players and good kids.”
The person speaking about Eaton and Davidson is none other than Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers, the man responsible for trading both players this winter to the White Sox.
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In two separate deals six days apart, Sox general manager Rick Hahn first acquired Eaton from Arizona in a three-team, five-player trade that sent pitcher Hector Santiago to Anaheim.
Hahn pestered Towers about Eaton for weeks.
It wasn’t until the Angels got involved at the MLB Winter Meetings that they were able to consummate a deal that satisfied both parties. Towers was looking to add power to his offense and got Mark Trumbo from the Angels.
Hahn and Towers then pulled off a second trade, which sent closer Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks straight up for Davidson.
The White Sox gave up two quality arms and quality people in the two deals. What did Towers give up? It sounds like plenty.
On Eaton: “He’s fun to watch, I mean he’s like the Tasmanian Devil. You’ll know when he’s on the field. Defensively, offensively, he plays with a little chip on his shoulder. He’s one of those guys that his own players like him, other teams don’t like him.”
A mini-A.J. Pierzynski, perhaps?
Towers wasn’t finished talking about Eaton. There’s more.
“He just seems to be in the middle of something all the time, a diving play in the outfield, a good relay play, slashing the ball down the line," Towers said. "I mean when those legs get moving, he’s fun to watch. He could tear up some turf in a hurry. I think he’ll be the type of player that I think White Sox fans, from everything I’ve heard about South Side fans, the White Sox fans, he will fit well within that market. I think they’ll enjoy the type of style that he brings to the park each and every day.”
As for Davidson, how close is he from becoming an everyday third baseman in the majors?
“I think he’s ready. He just needs the at-bats,” Towers said. “I thought he had quality at-bats for us last year when he was up. He looked comfortable up there. He’s gonna hit. There’s no doubt. We never questioned the bat. Now defensively, he has a solid arm, good hands, a little heavy-footed at times.
"Thinking back to the old White Sox, maybe Joe Crede. Hopefully not the bad back, but the body type is a little bit similar to that. But he’s a guy that’s gonna put up offensive numbers and he’s gonna catch everything that’s his way with strong, accurate throws. He’s a quality, quality kid.”
Davidson doesn't have the speed to steal bases like Eaton.
Did Hahn steal them from Towers? We'll eventually find out.