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Reds sign Ben Revere to minor-league deal

Revere will battle to earn a spot on Cincinnati’s bench.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds have signed veteran outfielder Ben Revere to a minor-league deal with an invitation to major-league spring training, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Revere is expected to earn a salary somewhere between $1 million and $1.5 million if he cracks the Reds’ big-league roster, according to Heyman.

While the 29-year-old Revere has been rather consistent over the course of his eight-year career, his skill set — he’s a very good contact hitter and baserunner but provides limited on-base skills and power — has become much less valuable as analytics have taken over baseball and the sport has experienced a sharp uptick in power. Though Revere received his fewest plate appearances (308) in a season since his rookie year while serving as the Angels’ fourth outfielder in 2017, he was largely up to his old tricks, posting a .275/.308/.344 slash line with one homer and 21 stolen bases.

Revere is a .284/.319/.343 career hitter, and while he has just seven home runs in 3,343 plate appearances, he’s averaged 40 steals per 162 games. He has substantial experience at every oufield position, and while he played in just six games (and started only one) in center last season, he posted three defensive runs saved while playing 580 innings there for the Nationals in 2016, so it’s likely that he’d still be a strong defender in center if pressed into duty for an extended period.

Revere may face somewhat of an uphill climb to crack the Reds’ roster since their starting outfield is already set with Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Scott Schebler and prospect Jesse Winker appears ready to fill a part-time role. Revere could push his way into a fifth outfielder role — he’d certainly carry some value since he can hold down center field much more capably than any of Duvall, Schebler, or Winker can — but if the Reds opt to carry a fifth outfielder, they may be better off keeping 25-year-old Phillip Ervin. Ervin, ranked as Cincinnati’s No. 23 prospect by MLB Pipeline at the most recent update, can also play a solid center field and is cheaper, can shuttle back and forth between the majors and minors as needed, and has some upside, making him a more logical fit for a Reds team that still seems to be at least a year away from seriously competing again.