The Philadelphia Phillies finally made a splash in the Hot Stove League Thursday by acquiring outfielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for starter Vance Worley and minor league prospect Trevor May, another right-hander. Well, ok, maybe it was more like a ripple.
With all the conjecture about where the Phillies would make their mark this offseason, the acquisition of Revere, a 24-year old Juan Pierre clone, is not exactly a Triple Lindy in the pool of moves.
Revere will fill the Phillies' hole in centerfield, and defensively, should do so more than adequately. He's a terrific baserunner, as evidenced by his ranking second in BRR (Base-Run Ratio) to only Michael Bourn, ahead of MVP runner-up Mike Trout.
There's a possibility, if the Phillies can get Jimmy Rollins to move down in the order (possibly to third to split up Chase Utley and Ryan Howard) that Revere could be that prototypical lead-off man that so many fans in Philly pine for to a fault. His .333 on-base percentage was better than Rollins' .316 in 2012, but he drew only 29 walks in 553 plate appearances, so don't expect Lenny Dykstra to stroll up to the box and have pitchers quivering about the amount of work they're going to have to put in on Revere.
He's also yet another left-handed bat in a lineup crawling with them, but one thing Revere brings is the flexibility to continue making moves. In a word, he's cheap. He's not arbitration eligible until next year so he'll be under club control until 2017 without denting the wallet. If he works out, that could prove gigantic with the weight, some of it deader weight than others, the Phillies have got on their payroll.
The financial flexibility Revere provides makes it imperative for the Phils to find a right-handed power bat to fill one of the corner outfield positions. Revere makes a lineup lacking significant power weaker in that regard. Right now, it would seem that Dominic Brown, Darin Ruf and John Mayberry, Jr. would all see time in left and right fields. Mayberry having the ability to play both positions and spot the two youngsters. That won't be good enough to keep up with the Washington Nationals.
It may be more imperative now, to find a replacement in the rotation for Vance Worley. Nobody knows how Worley will return from an arm injury, but he has proven he can pitch at the major-league level. Tyler Cloyd has not, and Kyle Kendrick is a constant enigma. The need for that power bat may have to be put on hold while the Phillies search for an arm to replace Worley. Edwin Jackson could be a target, as well as Kevin Correia.
Trevor May was a top Phillies' prospect heading into this season but took a significant step backwards in his development. The Phillies' strength at the minor-league level is their pitching. With arms like Jonathan Pettibone, Adam Morgan, Ethan Martin and Jesse Biddle rising quickly through the system, May became expendable. The Phillies seemed to believe May would turn into a reliever in the long run, so he was worth parting with to seal the deal.
Is it good that the Phillies finally got active? Sure. Is it good that activity spawns the need for more activity? Maybe, maybe not. At least we have a Revere to roam the countryside to tell us how it all shakes out.
Pete Lieber is a freelance writer who has covered the Phillies for more than three years and followed the team since Lonnie Smith was Ben Revere before Ben Revere was even born. Follow him on Twitter at @Lieber14.
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