The Philadelphia Phillies had a few holes to fill this offseason with limited spending money.
Ruben Amaro Jr., the team’s general manager, took his time with free agency and did not jump to over-spend on players such as B.J. Upton, who signed a deal with the Atlanta Braves for five years, $75 million, and Michael Bourn, who was a late-free agent signing by the Cleveland Indians for four years, $48 million.
Amaro instead traded two young pitchers in Trevor May and Vance Worley to the Minnesota Twins in return for Ben Revere, a player who has stats comparable to both Bourn and the Boss-Man Jr. himself (Upton).
Revere, according to Baseball Reference, is scheduled to make $492,500 in 2013 and is eligible for arbitration after the season. He is not eligible for free agency until the 2018 season, which gives the Phillies time to lock Revere up to a long-term deal, if necessary.
Revere brings a new set of qualities to the Phillies lineup.
Speed. In the game of baseball, as in any sport, speed kills. Revere stole a total of 40 bases last season, while Upton (31 SB) and Bourn (42 SB) combined to steal 73 bases for teams that contended in 2012.
Revere also led the American League in infield singles (32). His nine bunt singles were among the leaders in the entire MLB.
Revere does not have that good of an arm in center field like former Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino. But he is also known for his tremendous defense in the outfield and his ability to track down fly balls is comparable to some of the league’s best center fielders like Victorino.
He has trouble with taking walks, which is why he has a low OBP. But Revere does put the ball in play, like Juan Pierre, who thrived in Philadelphia last season. Putting balls in play and making the defense rush their plays is something that the Phillies offense needs.
So far through ten Spring Training games with his new club, Revere is hitting .303 with ten hits, seven runs scored, and three stolen bases.
For the Phillies to make it back to the postseason, Revere needs to produce to the level that he is capable of doing. If his career numbers have any say in how good Revere can be, then the Phillies may have found their long-term solution in center field.