Sunday, July 26, 2015

MLB Trade Deadline: Who Needs Ben Revere?

Could Cole Hamels possibly have done any more to maximize his value to the Phillies as the MLB non-waiver trade deadline approaches this coming week? Hardly. 
Already the subject of an earlier chapter in this "Who needs?" series, Hamels no-hitter may be the perfect punctuation mark to his career in Philly, and provide the impetus for another team to get a deal done.
As strong as that performance was, he is not the only Phillies trade chip involved in trade rumors to step up his performance in advance of the deadline. 
Closer Jonathan Papelbon, who I covered in yesterday's chapter of this series, and outfielder Jeff Francoeur, the subject of the opener of the series three days ago, have both performed well of late.
Another Phillies trade chip who is performing well as that deadline approaches, and who has also been rumored in trade speculations, is speedy outfielder Ben Revere
As with those earlier segments, before we get to the possible destinations for Revere, let's examine what a team would be acquiring.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Revere was the 28th overall pick by the Minnesota Twins in the 1st round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft out of Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington, Kentucky.
He set his current profile as a high-average, no-power outfielder with big time speed and intelligent base running skills over four seasons rising incrementally through the Twins minor league system.
Revere received his first big league call-up in September of 2010, striking out in the only plate appearance of his first game on September 7th of that year in Minnesota against the Kansas City Royals.
He would become a regular the following season, and was a starter in the Twins outfield in both 2011 and 2012. 
In December of 2012, Revere was dealt to the Phillies in exchange for a pair of pitchers, Vance Worley and Trevor May.
Revere immediately became the Phils' starting center fielder, but his first season was cut short, ending on July 13th after he was injured grounding into a doubleplay to end a 5-4 loss in 11 innings to the White Sox.
He came back strong for 2014, leading the National League with 184 hits. His .306 average made him the only Phillies player to break the .300 mark last season. He also stole 49 bases, most by a Phils player in over two decades.
So far in 2015, Revere is hitting to a .302 batting average and a .340 on-base percentage, and he has 24 stolen bases to this point.
With just three homers and 57 doubles in 2,402 career big league plate appearances, power is obviously not his game. But his career .293 batting average and 169 steals do show that he can be a spark at the top of a batting order.
The now 27-year old would be just entering his prime for any acquiring team, but he will now begin to get a bit expensive. 
After making $4.1 million this season, Revere now becomes arbitration eligible. He will not become a free agent until after the 2017 season at the earliest.



The talented Angels are in a virtual tie for first in the AL West with the suddenly aggressive Houston Astros, and are likely going to need to make a couple of moves if they want to keep pace with that emerging American League power. 
Whichever team falters is going to find itself in the middle of a huge 7-8 team scrum for an AL Wildcard spot. 
Mike Sciosicia's team has been linked to Revere recently, and he would likely become their starting left fielder and leadoff hitter. 
His ability to get on-base and steal bags would fit perfectly in front of Kole CalhounMike Trout and Albert Pujols
The Angels don't have a strong minor league system, but Revere also wouldn't command a top prospect. This is a deal that could get done fairly easily.

Welcome back, Ben Revere? The Twins early season blistering pace has cooled, and they now trail Kansas City by 6.5 in the AL Central race. But Minnesota still currently controls the 2nd AL Wildcard spot. 
There are at least a half-dozen teams within striking distance of them, and they will likely need to do something to stay in that postseason race through September. Revere would be a relatively inexpensive option. 
While they wait for top prospect Byron Buxton to recover from yet another injury, Revere would be a nice addition to the top, or bottom, of their AL lineup, and on Buxton's return would give them an enviable speed attack.

Revere would be an upgrade for the AL Central front-running defending American League champions over Jarrod Dyson, who currently plays the 4th outfielder role for the Royals, is three years older, and has a very similar profile. 
Again, KC could put him at either the top or bottom of its AL-style batting order, and get a nice speed option that gets on-base enough to make a positive difference. 
Once their regular left fielder, All-Star Alex Gordon, returns from injury, he provides excellent bench and depth options to a club with World Series aspirations. Gordon's injury is a groin, and those are notoriously tricky.

Another team that has been regularly linked to the Phillies in trade rumors, they will almost certainly do something prior to the deadline. Probably a couple of somethings. 
The two teams could probably swing a package deal involving Revere and Papelbon if they work at it enough. The need is there, as the Jays, just 3 games behind the Twins in the Wildcard race, absolutely have postseason aspirations. 
They are currently going with Danny Valencia in left, with Michael Saunders on the DL battling knee troubles. Revere would fit in their high-octane offensive lineup perfectly, allowing Valencia to return to a versatile sub role to which he is better suited.

Revere has been linked to the Pirates already in a few public speculation pieces. Frankly, in my opinion, Jeff Francoeur is a better fit for the Bucs. They could platoon Frenchy with young, talented Gregory Polanco in right field. 
However, they could also obtain Revere, plug him into left, and move Starling Marte across the outfield. That's a bit of juggling, but Revere's on-base and speed profile would fit the top of the Pirates lineup nicely. 
Pittsburgh leads the NL Wildcard race, but the Giants and Cubs are both close enough that any slippage could find them on the outside looking in. Revere, or even Francoeur for that matter, could provide just the right small piece to help keep them on top.

Haven't heard a thing on this one. But with Nori Aoki now on the DL with a fractured fibula, and the defending World Series champs starting Gregor Blanco in left and having Justin Maxwell as their primary outfield depth, this could be another perfect fit. 
The Giants hold the 2nd NL Wildcard by just 1.5 games over the Cubs in what seems like it will be a tight race to the end.

It is no secret that the Mets are seeking offense. They have plenty of pitching to stay in the Wildcard race, where they currently sit 3.5 games back of the Giants. They are also just 4 games behind Washington in the NL East. 
They recently acquired a pair of veteran bats in Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, and called up top prospect bat Michael Conforto, who is now starting in left field. 
Revere would profile well in that spot, and at the top of their batting order, allowing both the youngster to get more seasoning, and Curtis Granderson to drop into an RBI slot. This is an intriguing match.

As with many of the Phillies available players, Revere makes a nice match with many teams. 
He is still relatively inexpensive, and brings specific tools in his hitting and stolen base abilities that could be very valuable to a contending team in search of a top-of-the-order spark plug. He is also a positive personality, important to any clubhouse.
If the Phillies can get anything of value in return, especially a young arm, he will be gone. 
He is also out of the lineup today, after a brief appearance as a defensive sub in the 9th inning yesterday. 
It is doubtful that he is injured, or the Phillies would not have put him into that Cole Hamels no-hit effort. Could a deal already be in the works?

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