It appeared as though the Twins might be content after signing Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke, but the addition of Reed gives the team a bona fide late-inning reliever.
If Reed’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he spent the first three years of his career as the closer for the Chicago White Sox. He wasn’t spectacular on the surface (4.17 ERA), but he threw hard and his ability to generate strikeouts (24.4% strikeout rate) led to a 3.30 FIP, suggesting he was a better pitcher than his ERA suggested.
Reed was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for infielder Matt Davidson prior to the 2014 season and he had one and a half more years of a bad ERA despite good secondary numbers before he was traded to the New York Mets in 2015. With the Mets, Reed revamped his delivery, eliminating his leg kick in favor of a slide-step. The change paid dividends and suddenly Reed became a dominant late-inning reliever as he’s had a 2.29 ERA, 2.81 FIP, .251 wOBA allowed, and struck out 27.5% of the batters he’s faced over his career since joining the Mets on August 30th, 2015.
Since Reed has closing experience, it will become interesting to see whether he or Rodney is the closer. Reed is certainly the better pitcher, but the Twins may want to deploy him to put out fires in the 7th and 8th inning, while allowing Rodney to have a guaranteed clean slate to work with in the 9th. However, if Rodney struggles, Paul Molitor should have no qualms putting Reed into that role instead.