The Cincinnati Reds have signed a couple of veterans and invited them to spring training with the major league club. News broke tonight that outfielder Ben Revere had signed with the club.

Heyman has a little trouble with grammar, capitalization, and punctuation, so let me translate. Cincinnati has evidently signed Ben Revere to a minor league deal with an invitation to the big league camp. Revere will earn up to $1.5 million if he makes the 25-man roster.

Revere — who will turn 30 years old soon — has spent eight seasons in the big leagues, most recently with the Angels, where he hit .275/.308/.344 in 109 games last year. Over his career, Revere has hit .284/.319/.343 while playing mostly center field (though he’s accumulated a significant number of games in all three outfield spots) for Los Angeles, Washington, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Minnesota. He’s projected to be worth between 0.2 WAR and 0.5 WAR in 2018, depending on who you ask.

He’s been called the least intimidating hitter in baseball, but it’s pretty interesting to see Revere in Reds camp. It could mean many things. Perhaps he’s just here to provide organizational depth. Perhaps the Reds aren’t comfortable with Phillip Ervin as a backup, and wanted to bring in a guy who could play all three outfield spots in a backup role, with a little speed off the bench to boot. Perhaps the club is still actively trying to trade Billy Hamilton, and Revere is here as short-term insurance in case something like that happens.

I dunno. But Revere is here now, and I expect that he’ll have an excellent opportunity to grab one of the bench spots as Opening Day draws nearer.


In addition to Revere, yesterday the Reds signed left-handed reliever Oliver Perez to a minor league deal:

In a deal that appeared to come together quickly, the Reds signed Perez to a Minor League contract on Saturday and brought him into camp as a non-roster player. The 36-year-old will compete for a bullpen spot as a situational reliever.

If he makes the team, Perez will earn $1.25 million this season, with an additional $500,000 possible in performance bonuses. He can opt out of his contract at the end of camp if he does not make the club.

“I’ve been around the league. Sometimes it’s quick. Sometimes it takes long,” said Perez, a native of Mexico who makes his home in the Phoenix area. “I am excited to wear a new uniform.”

Represented by agent Scott Boras, Perez noted that the Reds were the first team to call about signing him.

“I want to be there, because normally the first team that calls [is] the team that wants you,” Perez said. “I like to be with a new team, because it’s fresh air and I’m excited to be here.”

Go read the rest of Mark Sheldon’s report. Perez has been around the big leagues for 15 years, though it seems like he’s been pitching since 1976, at least. He has spent the last couple of seasons in Washington’s bullpen and, while he sports a career ERA of 4.46, Perez has held lefty hitters to a .231 average in his career.

I would not be surprised in the least if Perez were on the Cincinnati Opening Day roster. He’s a LOOGY — a lefty one-out guy — at this point in his career, and I would bet that Reds manager Bryan Price would love to have a veteran guy like this out in the bullpen. It’s not like the Reds are stocked with left-handed relievers, after all (Wandy Peralta and, maybe, Cody Reed are the only lefties likely to be at Price’s disposal). For what it’s worth, here’s what Price had to say:

“We don’t have a lot of left-handed relief depth – at least not of the experienced nature,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “[Perez] has a track record of being very, very tough on left-handed hitters. He’s been durable. He found niche for himself in the left-handed relief role.

“We love the competition to come out of camp with our best possible team in every realm. I’m looking forward to him coming out and showing what he’s got to contribute and seeing if he’s one of our best seven or eight relievers coming out of camp.”

What do you think? Will both of these guys be on the Opening Day roster?

20 Responses

  1. kmartin

    Ben Revere? Didn’t Dusty Baker have Revere hitting lead off when he was with Washington. I don’t think I like this.

  2. Jack

    “The least intimidating hitter in baseball”. Great we have the top two and they both play center.

    • Sliotar


      Exactly. A older version of Havoc!.

      The Reveres and Penningtons are just cheap bench cover. Guys lucky to squeeze out another year of MLB salary and pension qualification.

      Hamilton needs to be gone and so does Duvall. Winker and Ervin should get every chance to play every day. Schebler/Revere could man center for 2018.

      What would be interesting to know, IMO, is if there was minimal interest in Hamilton/Duvall or Dick Williams tried to “win the trade”, overvaluing guys who should not be here during “Peak Contention”…2020-2023.

  3. kmartin

    Being a devout pessimist here is my nightmare scenario that instantly occurred to me. Price decides to rest Hamilton. Then, rather than moving Schebler to center and and playing Winker in right, Price puts Revere in center and has him hit lead off.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      And so it is written, and thus it shall be. UGH I hope KMARTIN in wrong but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • eric3287

      This was immediately my thought too. Even if it’s indirect, Revere on the 25 man roster will result in fewer PAs for Winker, even before you figure that in a misguided attempt to “get Revere going” he will make the occasional start in the corner OF.

      The absolute only way this makes sense is if Billy is on the verge of being traded and the Reds needed to have a backup. I don’t necessarily agree that Ervin is better off playing every day in AAA. His path to the majors seems to be that of a 4th outfielder. He’s better off getting accustomed to that role, and being on the 25 man roster in case Billy needs 3-5 days off for minor injuries. The Reds aversion to the disabled list is legendary. I’d much rather Ervin on the roster to get those starts than Revere.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Reds were obviously listening to the fantasy baseball talk shows where the old fantasy dude Lenny Melnick, when reviewing the Reds, said that the Reds didn’t have anyone on their roster that was capable of backing up Hamilton in Center. Now on the more positive side, Lenny was raving about both Senzel (40 HR potential) and Winker (.320 BA potential). The other thing I remember him saying was that Castillo was overrated and was only an average SP at best.

  4. Reaganspad

    His first strike out yesterday, he was kind of trying to bunt. With 2 strikes he gives us the half hearted I am going to fool no one in the stadium but me and Bryan Price bunt attempt for strike 3.

    Chris Welsh was taking about his head moving all over the place. That is the problem with Billy, he is an uber quick twitch athlete who cannot keep his head still to see the pitch. He should NEVER every try to bunt again if he wants to hit in the ML

    1). He is a horrible bunter

    2). He needs every strike available to him.

    3). I maintain that he should can switch hitting and become a platoon player

    This is the season of rotating 4 OF, the perfect time to constrain him to see if you might have a serviceable hitter there

    Bruce Botchy would not put up with this performance and he had no OFs coming into this year

    Billy yesterday was the worst I can remember. His second strike out was horrible also.

    • Reaganspad

      Ah yes but that is the point, well one of them. He whiffed on the bunt because he is a bad bunter.
      The fastest guy in the league should be better than 39-109

      And all his fake bunting destroys every other at bat. If it was smart to move your head that much in an at bat, Joey would do it.

      But for some reason, Joey likes his head still during an at bat

  5. Scott Carter

    The only possible (stress on the possible) good that is in this trade is that there is a trade in the works for Hamilton for prospects. I have no idea who would possibly trade for him, who would have a need. Perhaps Miami, now that both Yelich and Ozuna are gone. But if that happens. Or perhaps Duvall or Schebler to give a regular spot for Winker. I am probably just dreaming but that is what spring training is for.

    • james garrett

      I really like the Perez signing but the Revere one makes no sense at all.

  6. Streamer88

    Love both acquisitions IF, IF:

    This means they use Amir’s newly found option to start at AAA.

    This means Cody Reed gets his act together while Perez is the LOOGY.

    This means BHam is traded.

    This means that Perez and Revere is not guaranteed a roster spot and if none of tha above happen then we don’t keep them.

  7. Matt Mahaffey

    Although I’m usually opposed to signing vets when I’d rather see what our young guys can do, I actually like the Revere signing. He’s a career .284 hitter ! I’d take that outta my center fielder any day. That’s 40 points higher than Billy will give you.

    • sultanofswaff

      I like the Revere signing too. Of course I’d prefer to pair Billy with some of our 2B depth to get a cost controlled CF, but this is a start at least. Last year was the only season he didn’t have an OPS in the low .700s.

  8. Bill Lack

    REALLY? One appearance this spring and you’re making conclusions? Wow.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Hey Bill, it’s never too early to overreact. I’m convinced Castillo and Bailey will win 20 games each this year based on yesterday’s performances, lol.

  9. sultanofswaff

    I’m not opposed to trading Schebs, or any OF not named Winker. However, I don’t think a 1 for 1 trade will move the dial. The Reds would have to package prospects as well to really move the dial. That boldness is that one thing that’s lacking from front office that keeps me from totally buying in.

  10. Aaron Bradley

    What is funny that this is the first year ever that I played MLB The Show 18, I bought a PS4 for it because Griffey Jr is featured in the game… well in franchise mode I made a trade for Revere and he was quite excellent for me, and I traded BHAM … Reverse might not be as fast but he was pretty serviceable as a leadoff hitter in the game. Interesting to note they have BHAM rated as a 99 bunter in that game which is crazy he can’t be that good, I think they just tried to help the Reds out a bit because the pitching staff is severely mediocre and they don’t even make Winker decent either so you would really have no choice but to play BHAM without making a trade.

  11. sultanofswaff

    On the radio broadcast today the Cowboy said the message he took from the Revere signing was to put some heat on Billy. Marty agreed. That’s my take as well.

    Carlos Gomez and Jarrod Dyson both signed elsewhere for ~$3mil but were available.

    So if the Reds truly want to create some competition in CF, did the Reds simply go the cheap route to accomplish that goal? The difference was $1.5mil. It would be incredibly disappointing that they wouldn’t be willing to spend that money to bring in more viable upgrades!

  12. Gonzo Reds

    I agree, I’d take 75 or 76 or 73 any day!