For the second time in roughly a week, the Minnesota Twins have traded an outfielder to a team in the National League East. This time, Ben Revere was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May.
Revere had been expected to take over as Minnesota’s starting center fielder and likely leadoff hitter with the trade of Denard Span last week, but rumors surfaced this week that the Twins were looking to trade him and that came to fruition quickly. In three seasons with the Twins, Revere hit .278 with 74 stolen bases, 64 RBI and a .319 on-base percentage over 1,064 plate appearances.
Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA over 23 starts (133 innings) for the Phillies last season, as an elbow issue that later required minor surgery prevented him from making any starts after August 28. He emerged on the scene in 2011, as he went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 25 games (21 starts) for Philadelphia and finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. Overall for his career, he has a 18-13 record, with a 3.50 ERA in 53 appearances (46 starts). Even with a somewhat limited track record, Worley immediately becomes one of the Twins’ best starting pitchers and has to be a contender to start on Opening Day as long as he is healthy.
But the real prize for the Twins in this deal might be May, who was considered one of the top prospects in the Phillies’ organization and was Baseball America’s 69th-ranked prospect heading into last season. He did not have a great season in Double-A in 2012, going 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA over 28 starts (149.2 innings), but his K/9 rate (11.1) over his five minor league seasons is elite and he has top of the rotation upside.
With Revere gone, the door is now open for top prospect Aaron Hicks to open the season with the Twins in 2013. Darin Mastroianni could also be in the mix for playing time on the heels of his solid performance as a part-time player in 2012, but his ability to have success with significantly increased playing time is a question right now. Another upper level prospect, Joe Benson, may also enter the conversation if he can get back on track after a poor 2012 season that was shortened by a wrist injury.
The Twins have focused on adding young pitching to this point in the offseason, as Worley is the elder statesman of the three they have added at age 25. General manager Terry Ryan may not be done making trades as he looks to address the deficiencies that have plagued the Twins over the last couple years.