Late Tuesday night, Parker Hageman of Twins Daily unveiled a post on trading Ben Revere. Now whether Jon Morosi ran with it when he reported Revere as possible trade fodder for the Twins, Hageman had inside info from the Twins, or it was just a big coincidence, it does bring up some interesting questions about the construction of next year's team.
I'm already fully on the "Joe Mauer 4 Leadoff" bandwagon; this won't change with or without Revere on the Twins. But without Revere, the Twins have a few options:
* Promote one of the kids
* Start Darin Mastroianni
* Bring in a cheap FA
But then Morosi states that the Twins might be looking for a centerfielder back in the trade. Wait, what? That doesn't pass my sniff test despite the cold I've battled for two weeks. If the Twins are clearing room in the outfield, it wouldn't be to bring back another outfielder, and to be fair and honest, what type of outfielder could the club use as the second chip in that kind of trade? I say second chip because I can't imagine an outfielder for outfielder swap.
Let's look at Revere as a player.
The good Revere:
*Contact rate (92.2 percent career mark)
* Stolen bases/rate (40 steals in 2012, 80-plus percent success rate)
* Defense (16.4 runs above replacement in 2012/26.6 career)
* Ground balls and line drives (4.6 GB/FB, 18.6 percent LD rate in 2012)
The bad Revere:
* Walk rate (5.4 percent)
* No power (.049 iso)
* No gap power (131 singles, 19 XBH)
* Overall as a hitter (.300 wOBA in 2012)
Even if the line drives and grounders start finding gaps or rolling over corner bases, I don't think Revere will ever have a wOBA exceeding .320. Given the shakiness of defensive stats in WAR -- not to mention the year-to-year variance -- here are the WARs of other .320ish wOBA outfielders last year (note: a .320 wOBA would have ranked 48th among qualified outfielders in 2012):
Michael Saunders - 2.3 WAR
Desmond Jennings - 3.5 WAR
Shane Victorino - 3.3 WAR
Dayan Viciedo - 0.5 WAR
Michael Brantley - 2.7 WAR
There's obviously some variance here -- and Revere will never hit or field like Viciedo -- but it looks as though if Revere can reach his ceiling, he can probably be at least a 2.0-3.0 WAR player. So I think it hinges on if you think a .320 wOBA is his ceiling; do we think Revere is capable of improving by almost seven percent from where he was last season. I'm not totally convinced.
Reasons to keep:
* Among best defensive CF in the game
* Possibly hasn't reached his ceiling
* Makes tons of contact, leading to high batting averages
- also moves runners over
* Stolen bases puts Revere almost chronically in scoring position
Reasons to dump:
* Reaching ceiling still might not be all that high
* Adequate OF depth in Twins system
* May as well sell high
* Could bring back useful SP or other chip
Moving Revere now, with his value about as high as it could be, is a great idea for the Twins. He could bring back a return nearly as high as Span's -- keeping in mind his defense and the fact that he's under club control through 2017 -- and right now presently is as good of a time for the Twins to find an interim centerfielder as any.
I say go for it, TR. In Revere's stead, I'd try sign Nyjer Morgan, or start Mastroianni until Aaron Hicks is ready. It really all hinges on what the Twins' actually hope for this season. If the club is resigned to trying for .500 or maybe 75ish wins, starting Mastroianni in center for the short-term doesn't really hurt. The club just has to have a backup option as a fourth outfielder -- Morgan may still be an option there. Then again, Morgan doesn't seem to 'fit' with the club.
Nevertheless, maybe moving Revere would be the right move, as long as the Twins can bring back a bigger need for the long term. What say you?