Missing out on B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan, Ruben Amaro Jr. opted to acquire Ben Revere instead of pursuing Michael Bourn to fill a need in centerfield, and it'll be the better move for the club now and in the long run.
Just four days before the Indians' first full-team workout, Michael Bourn reached a four-year, $48 million deal to man the Cleveland outfield. The two-time All-Star also received a vesting option for a fifth season that will become guaranteed if he reaches 550 plate appearances in the fourth year of the contract. If healthy, such an option should be easily attainable for Bourn, who's eclipsed that threshold in four straight campaigns.
The Phillies had their chance to get their former prospect back. It's obvious now it wouldn't have taken the supposed nine-figure megacontract Bourn was seeking — and yet, Amaro still went the better route in bringing in Revere instead.
Sure, Bourn's the better player at the moment and could even remain so in the future — depending on how his legs hold up as he reaches his mid-30s near the end of his deal. But he'll be costing the Indians $12 million per season on average while Revere's 2013 salary won't even reach $1 million. He won't come close to what Bourn makes until his arbitration years are up, and that won't happen until after 2017.
Is Bourn worth that much more this season, to limit the Phillies' flexibility when they clearly still have a glaring offensive hole they'll need to address as the trade deadline approaches (assuming they're in the race)? No, not at all.
Just glancing at the numbers from last year, Bourn batted .274/.348/.391, stole 42 bases (and led the league being caught 13 times), recorded 45 extra-base hits and struck out 155 times in 155 games. Revere, in 124 games, produced a slash line of .294/.333/.342, stole 40 bases (caught nine times), recorded just 19 extra-base hits and struck out 54 times.
Revere has no power and rarely splits the gaps — that's obvious, and it's been well-documented. He doesn't take enough walks (one every 19 PA's compared to Bourn's one every 10). His arm isn't as strong. Yet he's still developing — and ahead of where Bourn was as a 25-year-old — and will come at a much more reasonable price. The Phillies could probably use the extra $11 million more wisely.
Oh, it shouldn't be forgotten, either, that Revere's price also included parting ways Vance Worley and Trevor May. What he did not cost was a first-round pick, which the Phillies would have been forced to surrender if they had signed Bourn.