Phillies Acquire CF Ben Revere from Twins

Todd Zolecki reports:

Multiple sources confirmed to MLB.com this morning the Phillies have acquired outfielder Ben Revere in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. It is unclear who the Phillies have sent to the Twins as part of the trade, but the Twins have been looking for pitching.

Jim Salisbury reports Vance Worley and Trevor May are going to Minnesota.

Revere, 25 years old in May, has a career .287 wOBA in 1,064 trips to the plate, but he is more valuable than he appears at first glance. He becomes eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2013 season, which means he will be cheap and under team control through 2017. You’re looking at the Phillies’ center fielder of the future, barring any future transactions. Additionally, he plays excellent defense and runs the bases very well (74 steals in 93 attempts, 80%). The hope is that Revere’s offense improves with time, and there will be plenty of that.

Many were hoping for the Phillies to get Michael Bourn or Josh Hamilton, but trading for Revere was sensible by comparison. Rather than committing millions of dollars to players in their 30’s, the Phillies got a cost-controlled outfielder that represents very little in the way of risk with plenty of upside.

That being said, the Phillies did pay a price. They sold low on Worley, who is coming off of a bad season besmirched by an elbow injury. The right-hander was solid for the Phillies in 2011, posting a 3.01 ERA. Overall, in 277.2 innings, he has a 3.92 SIERA, which speaks of a reliable arm to have in the middle of a rotation.

May was, even to the seconds leading up to the trade, considered a top prospect in the Phillies’ system. Some of that speaks to the dearth of talent in the system, but May still showed flashes of a Major League-quality arm. The Phillies sold low on him as well after a disappointing 2012 in which he posted a 4.87 ERA with Double-A Reading. His strikeout rate declined precipitously and he still had not shown marked improvement in his control. Eric Longenhagen wrote a report on May back in October, concluding:

May’s ceiling is mostly the same (folks, I saw 96mph, a plus curve and a plus change at various times this year. A mid-rotation starter is in there somewhere and it’s still his ceiling) but the chances he gets there are now minute.

The trade will likely be framed, by fans and analysts, in the terms “won” and “lost”, but it’s not quite as simple as that. If this is what it took, at a time when center field options were quickly being taken off the board, to get Revere, then the Phillies did well to get a player who will not hamstring them financially while providing plenty in the way of talent and upside. Additionally, by not spending lots of money on a free agent center fielder, the Phillies have the freedom to go after free agents at other positions, such as Nick Swisher for right field.

Sending Worley away means that the Phillies, at the outset, will go into 2013 with a starting rotation that includes the usual Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay, but also Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Cloyd as well. That back-end of the rotation could spell trouble going forward, so it will be interesting to see if the Phillies go after free agent starter. The list of remaining free agent starters is small and mostly uninspiring, but does have names such as Edwin Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, and Kyle Lohse. An unheralded, relatively cheap player to think about is Carlos Villanueva as well.

When the Phillies are done making moves, it will be interesting to compare what they’ve done to what they could have done. For example, are they better with a rotation that includes Worley and an outfield with an expensive free agent than they are now with Revere and perhaps a new starting pitcher? The difference is smaller than one would expect, and it’s why this trade should be, at least for now, applauded.

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66 comments

  1. Mitch Goldich

    December 06, 2012 06:10 PM

    Really like the points you made at the end. Everyone is so quick to rush to judgment about this and every other move. The reality is we won’t know how good a move it is until we see what other parts they add to the roster.

  2. Alan

    December 06, 2012 06:52 PM

    @Phillie697

    Young can’t play anywhere, he was the 2nd worst player in Baseball last year.

  3. LTG

    December 06, 2012 08:50 PM

    John,
    Although I don’t want Young at any price, getting Young does not exclude adding Swisher (or whatever RH power bat), especially since Texas will eat much of Young’s contract. And, Michael Young was so bad. (How bad was he?) He was so bad that Ty Wigginton was a better hitter.

    Phillie,
    The Rangers recently extracted value from Young by keeping him from playing defense. The Phillies can’t do that.

    Tony,
    Utley doesn’t have the arm to play 3B. So it was and so it shall be.

  4. Phillie697

    December 06, 2012 10:10 PM

    @LTG,

    Untrue. Young can be a decent platoon for Howard, which has the double advantage of making his offense more valuable AND making his crappy defense matter less.

  5. EricL

    December 06, 2012 11:18 PM

    Phille697, Ruf and Mayberry can be a decent platoons for Howard, aren’t as bad defensively as Young and won’t cost $6,ooo,ooo plus an actual player with value. In short, they’re VASTLY superior options for a Howard platoon, and if you think you’re going to play Young at third base that’s even worse.

    hk posted this link on PN:

    mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=12833591&query=%26game_pk%3D286333

    That’s Wiggintonesque defense right there.

  6. LTG

    December 07, 2012 01:23 AM

    So, that video is at best inconclusive. Young looks like a three-toed sloth but the two balls are hit hard. Show me a ground ball bouncing off the palm of his glove and I’ll grant Wiggintonesque. It’s worth noting that the holy metrics judge Wigginton’s defense worse than Young’s.

  7. LTG

    December 07, 2012 01:24 AM

    Platoon for Howard: Pffft.

  8. TomG

    December 07, 2012 05:04 AM

    Based on that video, there are at least 3 other Rangers you wouldn’t want based on their defense in that one inning: Hamilton misplays a ball in center; Murphy misplays one in left; and to start it all off Wilson doesn’t get to 1st before Gardner.

    I hope Young nixes this deal because I agree with the view that acquiring him at any cost is not desirable, but if I were to base my judgment on that clip alone, I’d stay away from Bad News Bears/Rangers altogether.

  9. hk

    December 07, 2012 06:36 AM

    LTG,

    The video is inconclusive, but that’s because you can’t really see how close ARod’s hit was to where Young was positioned and how slow Young reacted to the ball. I remember watching that game and thinking that the Rangers would have been better off with the Rocky statue at 3B instead of Young. It’s not hard to see why Texas went hard after Adrian Beltre following that season. The best thing I can say about his defense at 3B two seasons ago is that it wasn’t as bad as Wigginton’s was this year.

    TomG,

    You are right. That inning is obviously the smallest of sample sizes, but the ARod hit has stuck in my mind ever since as one of the worst efforts I’ve ever seen from a 3B.

  10. hk

    December 07, 2012 06:40 AM

    “When the Phillies are done making moves, it will be interesting to compare what they’ve done to what they could have done.”

    If and when you do this comparison, I think their mis-reading the market for Schierholtz has to be factored into the equation. Judging from the apparent demand for him and the fact that he got ~50% more from the Cubs than he was projected to get in arbitration, it seems as though the Phils lost a chance to tender him and use him as a trade chip. We’ll never know what the Cubs or Yankees or any of the other teams rumored to be interested in him would have paid to secure his services for ~$1.6M with a few more years of team control.

  11. TomG

    December 07, 2012 08:45 AM

    I think hk is right about Schierholtz. Even if the Phillies could get Young for as little as $6 mil, the faction of that money that could have been used to secure Schierholtz would have been better spent. Of course, Schierholtz is not a third baseman, but then (to overstate the case a bit) neither is Young … while to be fairer, I’ll just say he’s not much of one. Schierholtz, on the other hand, would have been valuable if we kept him or used him in a trade. The Phils made a great, reasonably-priced pick-up with Revere, but they booted a chance at another with Schierholtz.

  12. Phillie697

    December 07, 2012 11:39 AM

    I thought we established that Young is bad at defense like, 4 years ago. Am I missing something, or does wOBA somehow measure defense now? I don’t think I’ve EVER advocated Young’s defense.

    As for Schierholtz, yes, a bad call, but come on, a major snafu it was not.

  13. TwinsFanCheckingIn

    December 07, 2012 01:33 PM

    Revere covers a ton of ground in Center, he’s definitely fun to watch out there. His arm is horrible though — triple-hops to cut-off horrible.

    Wouldn’t surprise me to see him hit .300 with 50+ steals the next few years, but I don’t think he’ll ever develop any other areas of his game.

  14. JN

    December 07, 2012 01:49 PM

    I love the faulty logic. Revere held to a standard where his play isn’t as good as what the eye and stats might suggest but yet there is the audacity to not say the same thing about Worley. He doesn’t miss bats, he had elbow surgery and his velocity is suspect. Worley is the one already regressing. As for May, the notion of the Plus pitch is the ability to throw it consistently. While May may have wicked stuff he does not have dominant or Plus stuff. He is regressing and will be lucky to be Phillipe Aumont. The Phils won this trade. Had they given up Biddle I would have been pissed, but Worley and May are two guys who are just guys…

  15. jmoney

    December 07, 2012 04:18 PM

    Lol no bias their right JN. Nobody won this trade yet.

  16. H.Douglas Walker

    December 07, 2012 05:38 PM

    I think you are seeing in Revere a younger version of Pierre. He has no power and with a less than average arm he is not really a center fielder. If Ruff does not make the grade as a left fielder I see the outfield of Revere in left, Mayberry Jr. in center and Brown in right. If this were to happen we would have been better off signing the the Shane V to a two year contract. He can still hit for some power and still play good defense.

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