By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - When news broke late Thursday morning that the Minnesota Twins had traded center fielder Ben Revere to the Phillies for Vance Worley and Trevor May, the initial reaction was nothing short of shock and awe. Having traded away their starting center fielder (Denard Span) only one week earlier, the Twins have now traded away the heir apparent. That seems weird?
The more I learn about this trade, the more I like it and I'm left with three things that stick out to me about the team's recent moves.
- First, seeing the value that the Twins got for Revere (one starter and one prospect), maybe this Alex Meyer guy they got from Washington for Denard Span is legit.
- Second, the outrage coming from Twins fans is simply stemming from the fact that Revere was a fan favorite and a well known name. What they got in return are two relatively unknown assets to surfacey baseball fans.
- Thirdly, the Minnesota Twins are a better team after making these moves.
On Alex Meyer...
Initially, when Denard Span was traded to the Washington Nationals for a Single-A level pitching prospect named Alex Meyer, I was a little nervous. Anytime you trade away a proven asset for one that it largely unproven, it is fair for nerves to run freely. Learning more about Meyer and his potential, I was became slightly more comfortable with the deal but remained weary given the Twins track record with developing high-level prospects. But now that Revere has been traded for a Major League starter and one of the Phillies top-prospects, I have even higher hopes for the Meyer kid.
Let it be know, that I personally view Denard Span as a more valuable player than Ben Revere. It could be argued that given his speed and his age, Revere has more upside into the future than Span does, but you have to account for Revere's short comings as well.
Yes he's fast, but I'm pretty confident that I could throw farther and faster than him. Sure he's young, but he has little to no power when he steps up to the plate. At best, Revere is a young, three-tool player (compared to Span who is thought to be a four-to-four and a half tool player). That said, he was still able to draw in two pitchers that will help the Twins both immediately and into the future.
Despite carrying the label of damaged goods, Span is still revered around the league as a upper echelon player. Moral of the story here, after seeing the haul that we got for Revere, and valuing Span higher than Revere, Alex Meyer went from a nice prospect in my mind to a potential really nice prospect.
On Ben Revere's Value...
Unless you get a big name player in return, fans typically will dislike seeing a player that they are familiar with get traded away. Especially when the two players you get in return are relative unknowns/prospects. Ben Revere was fun to watch, he was a nice guy, but seeing the Twins deal him one week after sending Span to Philly tells me that they thought that he had topped out and could be easily replaced by Darin Mastroianni, Joe Benson or Aaron Hicks.
Hicks, who has only reached the AA level, has improved his numbers both fielding and hitting in each of the last two years. The plan right now has got to be to give Mastroianni and Benson a shot at the beginning of the year and hope that Hicks continues to progress to the point that he is able to join the team after the All-Star break.
And yes I am aware that we've been sold a five-tool bill of goods on Aaron Hicks for the past three or four years, but the reality is that even at the AA level, his potential is higher than that of Ben Revere.
On the current state of the Twins...
It is impossible to argue that the Twins are not a better team and a better organization top to bottom after having made these two trades. General manager Terry Ryan should be applauded for being aggressive and dishing out assets for assets to get the Twins out of the pitch-to-contact mold they've been stuck in for the past five years.
As it stood this morning, the Twins had one pitcher in their starting rotation (Scott Diamond) for 2013. After the trade today, that number has been doubled. Sure that's not enough, but when you fill the voids with a handful of veterans and then take a nice long look to the future, the state of the organization today is in much better shape than it was just one week ago.
While we may have to suffer through two more years of journey-men pitchers joining the rotation, and sure you may have to retire your Ben Revere and Denard Span jersey T-shirts, but a couple seasons from now a starting rotation of Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May and Alex Meyer looks pretty nice.
Terry Ryan successfully took a couple of decent assets and re-stocked the shelves of the entire Twins organization (as far as pitching goes). They will be better on opening day in 2013 than they were at the end of the 2012 season and they will be in much better shape heading into the future after these trades.
Kudos to you Terry Ryan. This organization is once again headed in the right direction.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions on this post or others in the designated comment box below. For Twins updates and breaking Twins news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjMansourKFAN