Some thoughts about the recent trade between the Phillies and Twins:
1. Vance Worley is a major league starter (though more of a middle-back end of the rotation guy). If the Phillies weren’t so desperate for a centerfielder, I might have said this trade didn’t need a Trevor May-caliber guy. But that’s a reality of a shrinking market. I view the addition of May as a minor victory for the Twins.
2. The Twins needed starting pitching, and the Phillies seemed to be willing to part with some of it. May had his struggles in AA this year; perhaps he can flourish elsewhere. Worley, 25, had some elbow issues this year, but a successful surgery means he could be back in the spring to prove his rookie year was not an accident.
3. At a glance, this seems to be a pretty even deal. Both teams gave up a starter; Philly also gave up what could end up being a disposable prospect. Time will test this deal, however, as we can’t know how May or the remaining Phillies pitching prospects will shape up.
4. Revere is under team control until 2017, and is a cheap option for the near future. Given his numbers (.294/.333/.342 last year with 40 out of 49 on stolen base tries) and his age, this seems it could turn out to be a savvy move for the Phillies. He is 24 – that means the Phillies have control of Revere until he’s 29. With player production typically rising in these years, the Phillies could see a great return on this deal.
5. The Phillies have limited cash before they hit the luxury tax, with which they need to focus primarily on three pieces: center field, corner outfield, and third base. Revere is a cheap center field option, and that frees up money for the other spots. Ideally the Phillies would also love to add an eighth-inning guy. This acquisition may leave enough cash for that to happen.
6. Revere is a speedy player. He can cover a lot of ground and steal bases (40 of 49 is an impressive figure). Perhaps Philly now has a leadoff hitter who can take over in that spot for Rollins soon.
7. The Phillies avoided paying B.J. Upton-type money to Michael Bourn, also a centerfielder who relies on his legs, and got a much younger player with some of the same traits. This is one aspect that makes me like the deal more.
8. The Phillies now need to fill Worley’s starting spot, whether internally (presumably with Tyler Cloyd) or, more realistically, with a veteran who has something left in the tank and would like to prove himself. In hearing this discussion, I remember another pitcher who tried this route with the Phillies, Pedro Martinez.
Takeaway: While both teams left gaps elsewhere, they were each able to address a key need. That’s the essence of a fair trade.