While Philadelphia Phillies fans may have been waiting with bated breath for Josh Hamilton or B.J. Upton, the center fielder for the 2013 season will instead be a guy few of them heard of before this month. Even so, it didn't take them long to like Ben Revere, and vice versa.
On the final day of the winter meetings, the Phils made a trade with the Minnesota Twins that netted them Revere, 24. Through social media, Revere struck a chord with Phillies fans.
For instance, someone on Twitter made a photo-shopped cartoon of Revere as Paul Revere, on horseback with a lantern in his hand. Revere took the joke and went with it, making it the background on his Twitter page.
"They have been just showing me love with open arms," Revere said Dec. 13 when he met the Philadelphia media for the first time. "A buddy of mine lives up here, and he said they are different than Minnesota fans. But I know they know the game of baseball a lot. They know about the keys, and they know about hustle."
At the end of the day, however, the fans will be for or against Revere based on his play on the field. Ditto the team's other recent acquisition.
After trading for Revere, the Phils addressed their vacancy at third base by making a deal for seven-time All-Star Michael Young, 36. Young, who has played all 12 of his major league seasons with the Texas Rangers, has been used primarily as a designated hitter the past two years, but he won a Gold Glove as a shortstop in 2008.
"Switching around the field is tough, it is really hard," said Young, who played all over the infield while with Texas. "It's just really tough to stay in a rhythm when you're doing different things on defense. ... I'd be with Adrian Beltre, the best defensive third baseman I have ever seen. In spring training, he'd be taking groundball after groundball after groundball. I'd be right there with him, and then I'd go pick up my second base glove and go over there. So I missed out on countless reps. Doing an equal amount of work, but at different spots."
Where the two new cogs fit in manager Charlie Manuel's batting order is still to be determined.
As with many fans, Manuel is waiting for the next move. Since Revere and Young will cost less than $7 million combined in 2013, the Phils have it in their budget to add a corner outfielder.
"I could sit there and go over lineups all I want to," Manuel said. "But when it gets down to it, who we have on the corners in the outfield will dictate where our lineup falls."
The Phillies entered the winter without a single, everyday starting major league outfielder on the roster.