Posted on December 23, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Free agent outfielder Ben Revere has signed a deal with the Los Angeles Angels, according to multiple sources. The deal is reportedly for one year and $4 million plus incentives that could pay him an additional $2.25 million. The deal is an interesting move for both sides, as Revere doesn’t have a great chance to start with Mike Trout entrenched in center field, while Revere is the second outfielder the Angels have added this offseason after trading for Cameron Maybin in early November.
Revere became a free agent early in the offseason when the Washington Nationals declined to offer him a contract for 2017. The Nationals traded for Revere last winter, expecting him to be their every day center fielder. However, Revere missed time early in the season due to an oblique injury and could never get on track after that. On the season, he hit just .217 and ultimately lost his job in center field late in the season to rookie Trea Turner, a natural shortstop.
Revere, however, is a good candidate to have a bounce back year in 2017. Many believe that Revere’s struggles in 2016 can be blamed on the oblique injury, and that after a full offseason to recover, he should be in good shape heading into 2017. Prior to 2016, Revere hit better than .300 in three straight seasons. He also stole 142 stolen bases from 2012 to 2015, as he still brings plenty of speed to the table.
However, Revere will not be guaranteed regular playing time with the Angels, with Trout in center field, Kole Calhoun being the every day right fielder, and Maybin expected to be the every day left fielder. Revere, of course, can act as the top backup at all three outfield spots because of his defensive prowess and versatility, but heading into the season, the best he can ask for is a platoon with Maybin in left field.
“We’ll let the season organically take shape,” Angels GM Billy Eppler said. “We said at the outset when we acquired Cam that he would be the starter and we told Ben that throughout this process. He understood that and was willing and eager to join the organization. There will definitely be at-bats and plate appearances for Ben to mix in.”
It’s a little odd that Revere would be so eager to sign enter a situation in which he would have no chance to even compete for a starting job during spring training. Granted, he’s coming off a down season, but he has enough of a track record to find a better situation somewhere else. Nevertheless, he’s definitely a good addition for the Angels, who now have quality depth in their outfield in case of injury or if Maybin or Calhoun were to struggle.
“He brings strength on both sides of the baseball,” Eppler said of Revere. “The selectivity, the understanding the strike zone, the contact ability as well as the defense he can provide at all three positions, in addition to putting pressure on defense when he’s on base, pitchers and catchers and outfielders.”
The signing of Revere is likely the last meaningful move the Angels will make this winter. In addition to signing Maybin and Revere, the Halos have also worked out trades for second baseman Danny Espinosa and catcher Martin Maldonado. Those moves should give the Angels clarity at every position heading into spring training, as well as depth at most positions. With a player like Revere added to the mix as a reserve, the Angels outfield will definitely be one of the team’s biggest strengths in 2017.