One of the two teams needs starting pitching desperately, and has a plethora of outfielders to offer. The other club, which has an extra starting pitcher, needs a speedy centerfielder who makes good contact and can hit in the leadoff spot.
A trade between the two clubs, Minnesota and Cincinnati, would seem almost inevitable. In fact, the Reds almost made a deal with the Twins at last year’s trade deadline.
Then, the Reds were interested in Denard Span, the Twins’ leadoff hitter and centerfielder. Span has since signed a contract extension with Minnesota, making him an unlikely fit for Cincinnati.
Span’s teammate, Ben Revere, seems a much better option for Cincinnati. The speedy outfielder hit .294 with a .333 on base percentage and 40 stolen bases last season, making him a huge upgrade over current Reds’ centerfielder Drew Stubbs.
The Twins need to move an outfielder to make room for top prospect Aaron Hicks, who was named as Minnesota’s Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America. Hicks, a first round draft pick in 2008, hit .286 with a .384 OBP while also stealing 32 bases and connecting for 13 home runs for Double-A New Britain.
Right now, Hicks is being crowded out by Revere, Span, and slugger Josh Willingham. The latter two have large contracts and would be more difficult to move than Revere, who will not be eligible for arbitration until 2014.
By then, top prospect Billy Hamilton should be ready to take over center and leadoff for Cincinnati. Revere, who has played 134 games in center in his two-year career, is the perfect fit to fill that spot until then. He would very likely not cost the Reds much in return.
Cincinnati could send them starter Mike Leake, who just over a year ago led the staff in victories. He had an inconsistent 2012 season, but he could be a very solid starter in pitcher-friendly Target Field.
Cincinnati fans had the chance to see the exciting Revere when the Twins visited Great American Ball Park for a three-game interleague series in June. Revere went four for four with a stolen base in the opener, and collected two more hits to lead the Twins to victory in the rubber game.
As if his exciting play were not enough to endear him to Cincinnati fans, Revere is also a local guy. He attended high school in Lexington, Kentucky, right in the heart of Reds’ territory.
Doug Poe once delivered newspapers to Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Tony Perez, three Hall of Famers who have made him a lifelong Reds fan.