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Phils Deal Arms for Revere...

December 6th 2012 21:08
Former Twins OF Ben Revere has stolen 74 bases in two big league seasons.

As Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings were winding down this morning, the pool of potential center fielders for Ruben Amaro to choose from was also getting quite shallow. With B.J. Upton, Angel Pagan and our old friend Shane Victorino signing free agent deals with the Rays, Giants and Red Sox, respectively for a grand total of $154 million, and the Nationals snapping up Twins' CF Denard Span in a trade, things weren't looking all that promising for the Phils.

Josh Hamilton and Michael Bourn remain the top center fielders on the market, but with both over 30 and expected to command top dollar, and Hamilton viewed as more of a corner outfielder at this point, you had to begin to wonder in what direction Amaro was going to go.

That question was answered earlier today, as the Phils announced that they had acquired 24-year old outfielder Ben Revere from the Twins, in exchange for Vance Worley and Trevor May, who was regarded as one of their top minor league pitching prospects.

At first blush, it would seem as though this is a bit of a steep price to pay for a guy who has exactly as many home runs in his Major League career as I do - parting with a young pitcher who had pretty much established himself as the team's #4 starter in Worley, and another who is regarded as a potential middle-of-the-rotation arm in a few years by baseball experts in May.

When looking at it from the Phils' point of view for 2013, it makes sense: they get a young, fast (74 stolen bases in two full seasons) and, perhaps most importantly, affordable player who will have an opportunity to be their everyday center fielder. Revere's 2012 salary was $492,500, and with just over two years of Major League service time, he'll remain under team control through the next few seasons as he becomes arbitration eligible.

The 5'9", 170 pound Revere is a career .278 hitter through 254 games who is known for being a contact hitter, striking out only 100 times in 1,064 plate appearances. He's also apparently a guy who is up there hacking, as he's only worked 57 walks for his career, which is not ideal for a potential leadoff hitter. He can also be regarded as a singles hitter, with a career .323 slugging percentage and just 33 extra-base hits. He posted career highs in just about every offensive category in 2012, including a .294 average and 40 stolen bases, which was good for third in the American League.

Based on his size and style of play, I would assume Amaro sees a little of Bourn in their latest acquisition, as Revere's numbers stack up pretty favorably to the former Phillie's first two seasons (.261 batting avg., 101 stolen bases, 251 strikeouts for Bourn with the Astros in 2008-09) and while he hasn't shown any real gap-power potential at the plate, he's a far better contact hitter than Bourn, who has continued to strikeout at a high rate throughout his career.

By going this route and not plunking down agent Scott Boras's $80 million asking price on the 30-year old Bourn, they are still in a strong position to address their third base vacancy, add a corner outfielder and/or sign another starting pitcher to take Worley's turn in the rotation. The hot rumor out of Nashville this morning was the annual Michael Young-to-the-Phillies chatter, as the veteran Texas Rangers slugger was again linked to the Phils in trade talks as an option to man the hot corner in 2013, presumably a one-year arrangement in which he'd keep it warm for minor league third sacker Cody Asche, who according to several sources the team believes could be ready to play for the Phils in 2014.

As with all moves, time will tell whether Amaro's parting with a pair of solid pitching arms for Revere was a shrewd move or not, but he at least addressed one of the Phils' needs and left them in prime position to make a few more moves to make another run at the NL East title in 2013.
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