Originally written December 06, 2012 on Buzz On Broad:
In 2008, the Phillies brought the city its first championship since the early 1980's. Every winter since then, the team has added a markee name and big contract to its roster, only to see the team's overall performance slip a little from the previous season. The club's general manager, Ruben Amaro Jr., was initially praised for each of the "big splash" moves that he made, particularly the ones bringing in pitching studs Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee (twice). However, many fans realize that going out and throwing money at the first free-agent that appeals to you isn't always the recipe for success. Amaro seems to have taken notice. As I wrote yesterday in a piece about the Phillies' lack of panic this off-season, the team seemed to be completely unwilling to overpay for a big-name free agent this winter. They all but confirmed this by trading Vance Worley and prospect Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for center fielder Ben Revere. Revere, a 24-year-old speedster that nabbed 40 steals last season, will start in center field for the Phillies come April. He hit .294 last season, and his defensive abilities make him an immediate asset to the ball club. He also comes with a much lower price tag than the player on the market that a lot of people are comparing him to; Michael Bourn. Bourn is rumored to be looking for a contract in the ballpark of $100 million, while Revere makes the league minimum of $492,500. Through his first two seasons in Major League Baseball, Revere's numbers stack up pretty evenly against Bourn's.  Through 989 at-bats thus far, Revere has hit for a .278 average, .319 on-base percentage, and .323 slugging percentage. In his first two "full" seasons (2007-09), Bourn hit .263/.328/.351 in 1,192 ABs. Amaro even linked the two together in an interview earlier today. "Right now he's shown he's made a little more contact than Bourny. Certainly Bourny has been doing it for much, much longer," said Amaro Jr. Revere, a first-round draft pick (28th overall) in the 2007 amateur draft, is under team control through the 2017 season, which the Phillies and Amaro both love. "We gave a lot for this player, but in this marketplace, to acquire a young player under [our] control ... [and] a guy who can do what he can do, we felt this was the right thing to do," Amaro Jr. said in a press release today. There's no doubt that the young, talented Revere is an upgrade over anyone else on the Phillies' current roster at center field, but did they give up too much for him? My opinion is no. Worley had a very good rookie campaign, placing third in NL Rookie of the Year voting with an 11-3 record and 3.01 ERA. Last season, Worley saw a dip in almost evey category as he finished 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA. He gave up almost 40 more hits, almost 20 more runs, and saw his WHIP jump from 1.230 to 1.511. He also ended the season on the disabled list after having elbow surgery in early September. It remains to be seen which season is indicative of the true Vance Worley, but it seems that the Phillies are willing to bet that 2012 is not an aberration. Trevor May, the other piece that the Phillies sent to Minnesota, is another right-handed pitcher that has showed some big-league promise in the past. However, much like Worley, May saw a big dip in his numbers last season. The 23-year-old finished 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA last season for AA Reading. If you compare his numbers to his 2011 campaign, you can see why the Phillies had their doubts about his potential. May gave up 14 more HRs (8, 22), walked 11 more batters (78, 67) and struck out 57 less batters (208, 151) last season. C.J. Burns is a contributor for Buzz on Broad. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@CJBurns215) and join the discussion.
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