Ben Revere Rumors
Phillies center fielder Ben Revere told reporters, including MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, he will miss six-to-eight weeks after breaking a bone in his right ankle in the first game of yesterday's doubleheader against the White Sox. Revere is scheduled to visit a foot specialist tomorrow.
"The prognosis doesn't sound too good," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters, including Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We'll see how long it's going to be. I think it's something that's going to take a while. If that's the case, we'll probably be looking for a center fielder if one is available or will be an upgrade on what we have with John (Mayberry) out there."
MLBTR's Steve Adams examined the trade market for center fielders recently and the cupboard is somewhat bare, which is why the Phillies could be looking in-house for a replacement. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez started to see some action in center field last week and has been assigned to Double-A to accelerate his learning curve.
"He'll play center field every day for the next 10 days or so," Amaro said. "We're going to get him extensive work down there. But he'll be playing exclusively in center field to see if that's an option for us. He struggled (Saturday), but it's a new position for him. We'll give him a shot."
Brookover notes Hernandez is an interesting option to replace Revere because the two have similar games based on their ability to run. In a brief stint with the Phillies while Chase Utley was on the disabled list earlier this season, Hernandez hit .250 (7-for-28) with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Zolecki meanwhile reports shortstop Freddy Galvis is not an option to replace Revere.
Revere's injury is the second blow to the Phillies' offense in the last week. Ryan Howard underwent knee surgery last Monday and is also set to miss the next six-to-eight weeks. Revere is hitting .347 since the end of April, which is the sixth-best mark in baseball in that span and his .380 on-base percentage is 19th out of 164 qualifying hitters.
For the fourth straight year, Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony sat down with Jesse Lund of SB Nation's Twinkie Town to discuss the state of affairs with his team. Antony and Lund discussed the Twins' offseason at length, ranging from the trades of Denard Span and Ben Revere to the Twins' pursuit of starting pitching. Here's a look at some of the highlights, but bear in mind that entire piece is well worth your time...
- The Twins never intended to trade both Revere and Span, but the Phillies' offer of Trevor May and Vance Worley was too strong not to pull the trigger. Antony identifies May as someone who could get a September call-up in 2013 if he enjoys a strong season.
- The Twins had conversations with both Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano, but were unable to agree to terms with either one. In particular, the Twins sought a club option for Baker, who wanted strictly a one-year deal. Antony said they didn't want 2013 to "be a donation" to Baker in the event that he wasn't healthy and effective for most of the season. That decision looks wise, with Baker on the 60-day disabled list for the Cubs.
- Mike Pelfrey identified the Twins as a team he wanted to pitch for and was aggressive in working out a deal, according to Antony. The Twins did quite a bit of homework on Pelfrey's recovery from Tommy John surgery in order to ascertain that the right-hander would indeed be ready for Opening Day, as he promised.
- The Twins made several "competitive offers" to free agent starting pitchers, in some cases making better offers than the ones those pitchers ultimately took. The Twins had conversations with nearly every free agent starting pitcher and spoke with around 15 agents for pitchers at the Winter Meetings in December.
- Following the Span trade, most teams didn't believe that the team would also trade Revere. Antony says four teams were in the mix for Revere, but the Phillies were the most aggressive and ultimately landed him with the aforementioned offer.
- The Twins were willing to do a one-for-one swap of Span and Alex Meyer because they believe Meyer is a legitimate front-of-the-rotation candidate who can be a "dominant" strikeout pitcher.
- The decision to bring Aaron Hicks north as the team's Opening Day center fielder was a result of Hicks' strong play in Spring Training and his poise off the field. The Twins' front office was never overly concerned with delaying Hicks' free agency by a season: "If he's that good of a player we're going to do what we can to sign him long term and none of that's going to matter."
- Antony, GM Terry Ryan and the rest of the front office prefer to gradually expose their top prospects to the Major Leagues so as not to field a team of all rookies. Additionally, that line of thinking prevents mass arbitration and free agency issues: "If you can bring a couple guys, a couple rookies in each year, it helps infuse that and it helps to spread it out so that not everybody becomes arbitration eligible at the same time or free agents at the same time, all that stuff."
- The Twins "admire" the Royals' bullpen of power arms and would like to build a similar bullpen. The team prioritized power arms in the 2012 Draft, selecting a number of hard-throwing college relievers.
- Antony offered a definitive "No," when asked if the team had interest in Aaron Harang prior to his trade to the Mariners. The Twins feel they have a number of similar arms in the organization already.
- There's been no contact between the Twins and Jim Thome for "a couple of months," and the two were never on the same page. Minnesota had interest in Thome, but they were far apart in discussions.
- "It would be great if he could be a Twin for life," Antony said of Justin Morneau. "He's a guy who's meant a lot for this organization and we'd love it if he were to play his entire career here, but you just don't know how things are going to work out in the end."
- Antony feels that too much has been made of the decision not to extend Ron Gardenhire prior to this season. Many have speculated that Gardenhire is on the hot seat following a pair of 90-loss seasons, but Antony said it was intended to be an organization-wide message that they're looking to get better from top to bottom. He adds that he hopes Gardenhire is the Twins' manager for years to come, and that in three years people are surprised there was even a debate.
As players, coaches, and front office personnel begin to arrive in Florida and Arizona for Spring Training 2013, let's take a look at the news and notes from the National League:
- The Phillies were surprised Ben Revere was available and, in fact, it was the Twins who brought his name up in trade talks after dealing Denard Span to the Nationals, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover.
- Within the same article, Brookover writes the struggles of Domonic Brown were one reason the Phillies were forced to alter their offseason blueprint. "We were hopeful that Domonic would lock down one of those corner outfield spots," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He did not do that. He still may do that...but we can't necessarily count on that to happen. Because of that, then we were kind of filling all three outfield positions."
- MLB.com's Mark Sheldon provided additional contract details for some of the players the Reds have signed within the last month including right-hander Logan Ondrusek, who has more than two dozen different escalators, incentives, and bonuses written into the two-year deal he signed last month.
- Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio, and Jeff Francis are near locks for the first four slots in the Rockies' starting rotation leaving Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich, Tyler Chatwood and Chris Volstad jockeying for the fifth spot, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.
- MLB.com's Thomas Harding tweets the candidates for the Rockies' rotation change daily, but the final two spots could come down to Nicasio, Pomeranz, and Chatwood.
- Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, envisions the recently signed Chone Figgins in a Alfredo Amezaga-type role, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. Amezaga played every position, except pitcher and catcher, during his four-year stint in Miami.
The Phillies acquired outfielder Ben Revere from the Twins, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Starting pitcher Vance Worley is going to the Twins in the deal, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, as well as pitching prospect Trevor May, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com. Both teams have since confirmed the trade.
Revere, 24, hit .294/.333/.342 in 553 plate appearances for the Twins this year, stealing 40 bags in 49 tries. With just one year and 149 days of Major League service, Revere will not be arbitration eligible until 2014 at the earliest, and is under team control through 2017. He was a first-round pick of the Twins in 2007. He'd been penciled in to take over center field from Denard Span, who the Twins dealt to the Nationals less than a week ago.
"Ben is an outstanding, young, controllable center fielder who fits nicely with our club," Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. He's also affordable, allowing for payroll flexibility for the team. Meanwhile, there's one less suitor for free agent Michael Bourn.
Worley, 25, posted a 4.20 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9, and 46% groundball rate in 133 innings this year for the Phillies. He battled a bone chip in his elbow for much of the season, which was removed in September surgery. Worley has one year and 152 days of Major League service, matching up nicely with Revere in terms of club control.
May, 23, was ranked as the Phillies' second-best prospect by MLB.com. He posted a 4.87 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, and 1.32 HR/9 in 149 2/3 Double-A innings this year. Prior to the season, Baseball America wrote, "If his command continues to improve, he could become a No. 2 starter, and he should be at least a solid mid-rotation workhorse." The Twins added Alex Meyer in the Span trade, ranked the 50th-best prospect in baseball by MLB.com.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Twins outfielder Ben Revere appears to be in play, despite the team trading Denard Span to the Nationals six days ago. Revere, 24, hit .294/.333/.342 in 553 plate appearances for the Twins this year, stealing 40 bags in 49 tries. With just one year and 149 days of Major League service, Revere will not be arbitration eligible until 2014 at the earliest, and is under team control through 2017. The latest:
- Revere may be the Phillies' top choice for center field, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Twins are interested in Vance Worley plus a pitching prospect, tweets Knobler. Phillies executives Ruben Amaro Jr. and Pat Gillick met separately with Twins GM Terry Ryan this morning, tweets MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
- The Braves are interested and have spoken to the Twins about Revere, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
It's the middle of the night, but news rarely stops coming in over the course of baseball's Winter Meetings. Here are some links from around the baseball world for those who are still awake...
- One of the reasons that Sean Burnett's two-year, $8MM deal with the Angels was so affordable was because he had surgery to remove a bone spur this offseason, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. For comparison, Jeremy Affeldt signed for three years and $18MM.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes that the Phillies have a list of five center field targets that includes Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Dexter Fowler, Curtis Granderson and Ben Revere. This is the first they've been linked to Revere, who Knobler says the Twins will move for young pitching despite already having traded Denard Span.
- Scott Boras told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's spoken to Giants team president Larry Baer about established closers like Rafael Soriano and Jose Valverde (Twitter link). There doesn't seem to be a match there in my opinion, given Sergio Romo's excellence and reports that the Giants are at their payroll threshold.
- The Rays have hired former Astros scouting director Bobby Heck as as special assignment scout, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
The latest from around the AL Central...
- Despite the fact that the Twins are looking to give Trevor Plouffe some competition at third base, Ian Stewart isn't a match with the team, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III (on Twitter).
- Ben Revere's name has surfaced as a possible trade candidate, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Revere became the Twins' projected center field starter with the trade of Denard Span to the Nationals, so Morosi believes Minnesota might need to get a center field back in order to move Revere.
- The Indians offered four years and $44MM to Shane Victorino, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Victorino ultimately chose a three-year, $39MM offer from Boston, but it shows that the Indians have some money to spend.
- The Royals' offer was "not even close to what I was looking for," new Rangers setup man Joakim Soria told reporters including MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on a conference call today. Soria landed a two-year, $8MM deal with the Rangers.
- The White Sox continue to have dialogue with free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com.
- We had a few Tigers rumors yesterday also.
While the top options on the free agent market may be out of the Twins' price range the club's search for pitching has Minnesota eyeing Joe Blanton as a "prime target," according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Kevin Correia and Brett Myers are also on the team's radar, Crasnick reports.
In addition to those three names, recently non-tendered pitchers like Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan, and others could interest the Twins, according to Crasnick. Vicente Padilla has also drawn a little interest from Minnesota.
Although the Twins seem to be looking at plenty of pitching options in free agency, the team has also been more active in trade talks than expected, says Crasnick. Teams with pitchers on the block have approached the Twins about both Ben Revere and Josh Willingham.
Here's the latest from Joel Sherman of The New York Post...
- The Mets are making progress, albeit slowly, in contract talks with David Wright and R.A. Dickey. The impression is that there is still a substantial gap in talks with Dickey, and they've been gauging his trade value during the GM Meetings. They are not doing the same with Wright, however.
- The Yankees would not do a two-year deal worth $20MM or so for Torii Hunter since they want to get under the luxury tax threshold next year. They are fixated on one-year contracts this offseason and could fill their right field hole with a low-cost platoon.
- "The Yankees are not on him," said a source about Justin Upton, in part because they're unsure if he's a good fit for New York (Twitter link). The Rangers and Rays are strongest early players for Upton, and Sherman gets the sense that the D'Backs want to act quickly (Twitter links).
- The Diamondbacks want high-end, MLB ready players in return for Upton and would love to get Jurickson Profar or (more likely) Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They don't love Mike Olt, however (Twitter links). GM Kevin Towers likes Yankees prospect Mason Williams, but he is several years away from the show and unlikely to be enough to headline a trade package (all Twitter links).
- Next year's crop of free agent starting pitchers is weak, which could benefit Zack Greinke since teams won't be able to find a stopgap and reassess next year. Josh Johnson and Tim Lincecum highlight next winter's pitching crop, and both come with question marks.
- The Mariners, who have young pitching, are said to be talking to the Royals and Twins, who have young hitting. Seattle would love to pry Wil Myers, Aaron Hicks, and/or Ben Revere loose.
- Jason Bay didn't produce with the Mets, but he lived up to his billing as a hard worker and good teammate. Sherman expects the outfielder to take a low-salary, change of scenery deal (Twitter link).
- Mets officials think Scott Hairston will get a two-year deal worth between $8-10MM this winter.
On a day when the Blue Jays adopted a familiar-looking "new" logo, here are some news items to carry us into the weekend....
- If the Astros fire Brad Mills, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports believes Mills could reunite with Terry Francona as the latter's bench coach for a future managing vacancy. Morosi also lists Rangers executives A.J. Preller and Thad Levine and Rays executives Andrew Friedman and Gerry Hunsicker as wish list candidates for Jim Crane if he removes Ed Wade as Houston's general manager. It would be the second stint as Astros' GM for Hunsicker, who ran the team from 1996-2004.
- Ryan Madson could be one of several free agents to lose his Type A status under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Such an adjustment would help Madson, as clubs with unprotected first-round draft picks currently have to give up that pick in order to sign the closer.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that Denard Span and Ben Revere won't be traded this winter. Minnesota could lose both Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel to free agency this offseason.
- The White Sox didn't add Jordan Danks to their 40-man roster, and Jim Margalus of the South Side Sox speculates that this could be a hint that Chicago is preparing to part ways with John Danks. The elder Danks brother has drawn strong interest on the trade market.
- The Braves "seem to undervalue [Martin Prado's] skills," writes Fangraphs' Jason Roberts, who thinks Atlanta may not get proper market value in exchange for the utilityman in a deal.
- Right-hander Darrell Rasner has signed a new contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, reports NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman. Matt Sosnick, Rasner's agent, tells Newman the contract is worth $1.5MM plus performance bonuses. Rasner last appeared in the majors as a Yankee in 2008 and has pitched for Rakuten ever since.
- The Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mariners, Red Sox and Twins are all listed as possible suitors for Kelly Shoppach by ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link).