Analyzing the LA Angels signing of outfielder Ben Revere
Just when you thought the LA Angels were done making moves in 2016, general manager Billy Eppler plucks Washington Nationals outfielder off the free agent market signing him to a one-year 4 million dollar deal.
So was this a smart move by the LA Angels or just a move to say “Hey we did something”. My thought is that the move could pay some good dividends for the team. First and foremost it gives the Angels some versatility both in the outfield and also with their line-up. Revere is a career .285 hitter who has above-average speed. He is a prototypical lead-off hitter who can hit from both sides of the plate effectively and can steal a base.
The LA Angels used third baseman Yunel Escobar this season as their main lead-off man and he performed beautifully finishing the year with a .304 batting average and an OBP of .355. However, Escobar was not a base stealing threat at all with no stolen bases the whole season.
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So if the Angels want to change some things up and put some speed in the top of the order with Revere, now they can or they can match Revere and newly acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin, coupled with Mike Trout, and the Angels could match the St. Louis Cardinals of the mid-80’s.
Another benefit of having Revere is they can use him in late game situations as a pinch runner. The question though is how Revere and Maybin’s time will be split in left field. The other question no one has been asking, but I want to bring it up: Where does utility man Jefry Marte, who has shown great power potential last season. Marte started 2016 as a back-up corner infielder, but with all the injuries the Angels suffered, Marte worked his way into the every day line-up because of his bat.
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Marte performed admirably in left field so many fans thought he may be the answer in left. Marte hit 15 homers and drove in 44 runs while batting .252 in just half a season. Marte can play, first base, third base, and also left field, but as of right now he has no official position. So what will the Angels do with Marte, keep him as a reserve off the bench, trade him to get some pitching, or trade maybe Escobar to open an every day spot up for him.
However, with all the moves that Angels general manager Billy Eppler has done this off-season, it will give the Angels a much stronger team and definitely a much deeper team then the 2016 version. Is this team strong enough to compete for a division title and a playoff spot? I believe the answer to that question is yes, but with an asterisk. The asterisk is for the potential for injuries. The Angels had a lot of them last season especially to the pitching staff. If they can avoid any long-term injuries to the starting staff then they should be there in the end.
As for the signing of Ben Revere I think this move will work out well for the Angels, but only time will tell.