The Cincinnati Reds sure do make a habit of bringing in players who spent time in ‘Reds Country’ at some point in their development, don’t they?
Last year, it was claiming Cincinnati native Scooter Gennett off waivers prior to the season, but the Reds have also brought in Louisville native Adam Duvall in a then-overlooked deal, inked Brownsburg, IN natives Tucker Barnhart and Drew Storen to lucrative contracts in recent years, and even brought in Steve Delabar after he pitched in indy ball for the nearby Florence Freedom.
This time around, it’s OF Ben Revere, as the Reds have agreed to a minor league contract with product of Lexington (KY) Catholic High School, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman.
Sources: Ben revere agrees to reds deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 25, 2018
Heyman went on to note that Revere, who’ll turn 30 in May, will make between $1-1.5 million should he make the Cincinnati roster out of spring camp.
How Revere will fit in with the current Cincinnati group induces some chin rubs and pondering, to be sure. A career .284/.319/.343 hitter, Revere is a capable defender at all three OF spots, though he’s not exactly a defensive specialist out there despite his plus/plus speed on the bases. And as for 2018 production goes, there’s not a ton about him that suggests that he’d provide more for the Reds as a bench bat than, say, Phillip Ervin, who until this signing projected to potentially be the 5th OF on the roster come Opening Day.
So, perhaps this means that the Reds are interested in getting Ervin another set of regular playing time with AAA Louisville to continue his development, though that’s a question on multiple levels. For one, it’d cost the Reds another $1-1.5 million as essentially an investment into Ervin’s development, as that’s what it would take - along with canning someone else from the roster - to use Revere as the 5th OF, and while Ervin does carry the pedigree of a 1st round pick, he’ll be 26 this year and owns just a .251/.343/.399 career line in over 2200 career MiLB PAs.
The other speculative scenario here is that Revere has been brought in while the Reds continue to shop CF Billy Hamilton, though the rumors surrounding him have clearly died down of late. The San Francisco Giants, for instance, were the team mostly linked with Hamilton, and have since added both Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson as CF cover since those rumors burned hottest.
In all likelihood, this is merely a low-cost depth addition in the off-chance that some sort of injury happens while in Goodyear, and nothing more. Still, that’s a prudent move to make given the low-cost nature of the minor league deal, as Revere could in theory still be a serviceable bench bat if things fall apart around him.
You might also remember Revere from this absolutely absurd catch of a Todd Frazier liner from back in 2013, which is still one of the greatest catches I’ve ever watched.