Last year marked as sharp a downturn for Ben Revere as anyone could have expected. The speedster, coming off three consecutive seasons hitting .305 or .306, petered out at the plate and on the basepaths for Washington. This led to the Nationals leaving him off of their NLDS roster and non-tendering him in early December. He still made contact at an elite rate last season, striking out just 9.1 percent of the time, though he doesn't walk much and his batting average on balls in play dropped from .340 to .236. Revere is just 28 years old, so it might be premature to write him off as over the hill. The Angels took a chance on him and may install him in an odd reverse-split platoon with righty bat Cameron Maybin. There is also the fact that Maybin has played over 100 games in the majors just once in the past four seasons, and if he ends up on the shelf, Revere could be looking at everyday playing time. Owners looking for late-round boosts in batting average and stolen bases can give him a shot, just don't expect him to play much right away.
Despite his hot start (10-for-19) and Cameron Maybin's early struggles (0-for-15), the Angels still consider Revere their fourth outfielder, The Orange County Register reports. Revere added two more hits and a steal in Thursday's contest against the Brewers to bring his Cactus League average up to .526 with three stolen bases. While those numbers are hard to ignore, the Angels are still planning on having Maybin open the season as their starting left fielder. They may change their tune if these trends continue as we get closer to Opening Day; but as of right now, there is no need elevate Revere's value past that of a backup.
Revere went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI in Sunday's 5-3 spring training win over the Athletics. Revere has gotten a couple starts in center field while everyday players like Cameron Maybin, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun wait for their debuts on Monday. He has gotten off to a hot start, collecting a pair of hits and a pair of RBI in four spring training at-bats. The speedy outfielder is coming off of a down year with Washington in 2016 (.217 with 14 steals) after batting .306 with a combined 70 steals over his previous two years. The Angels brought him into town in hopes of a bounce-back campaign and to serve as the team's fourth outfielder. If any of the club's starting outfielders were to go down with injury, Revere would immediately gain fantasy value for his ability to rack up steals.
Revere agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the Angels on Friday, ESPN's Buster Olney reports. While Revere hits left-handed, he actually has reverse splits for his career (88 wRC+ against LHP, 81 wRC+ against RHP). Cameron Maybin, a right-handed hitter, also has reverse splits, and figures to occupy the strong side of a left field platoon, with Revere getting the starts against southpaws. Despite hitting just .217 in 375 plate appearances with the Nationals last year, Revere's .234 BABIP suggests his average could rebound in a big way. His speed and Maybin's injury history make Revere a worthwhile source of cheap steals late in AL-only and deep mixed league drafts.
Revere was non-tendered by the Nationals on Friday, making him a free agent, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports. The writing was certainly on the wall for this move, with the Nats leaving Revere off their postseason roster following a thoroughly disappointing regular season campaign. Revere struggled to a .217/.260/.300 after injuring his oblique in his first at-bat with Washington. He would have been due north of $6 million again through the arbitration process.
Revere was left off the Nationals' NLDS roster, the Washington Post reports. Revere was in the running for one of the final bench spots, but Michael Taylor was the choice with GM Mike Rizzo citing Taylor's arm strength, range in the outfield and handedness as the deciding factors. Revere strained his oblique in his very first at-bat of the 2016 regular season and ended up batting just .217/.260/.300 over 375 plate appearances. He figures to be a non-tender candidate this winter.