The Phillies have too many outfielders.
None of these guys are potential All Stars, mind you, but right now, the Phils appear to have too many bodies for too few spots, which means something has to give.
Sources: Scouts tracking #Phillies’ Revere for possible deal. Odd man out once Asche, Brown return. #Angels showed earlier interest.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 19, 2015
Ben Revere is currently the team's left fielder, with Odubel Herrera in center and Grady Sizemore and Jeff Francoeur sharing right field duties. But with Cody Asche learning left field (and seemingly taking to it well enough to consider him a Major League option) and Domonic Brown due up at some point soon, there are simply too few chairs for all the players available.
Trading Revere makes sense. First, they already have a Revere-like player in Herrera as their every day center fielder. The two together are redundant. Second, no one is going to trade for Sizemore or Francoeur, they simply haven't been good enough to warrant spending any capital for.
Third, Revere certainly has more value than Asche or Brown, both of whom need to prove themselves as decent Major League players before any team is willing to ask for them in a deal.
The bottom line is the Phils need help in the outfield as much as any team. The current group just isn't getting it done, ranking 28th out of 30 Major League teams in outfield production (-0.4 fWAR). Only the White Sox and the Rockies have had a less productive outfield.
For the Phils, if they do move Revere, the decision comes down to which player they think has the better future, him or Herrera. The two are very similar players, but there are differences, at least based on their Major League numbers so far.
Herrera has far less experience than Revere, is four years younger (Herrera is 23, Revere is 27), and this is his first time seeing pitching above Double-A. So while Revere is without a doubt the more accomplished hitter so far, trading him away would signal the Phils believe Herrera will eventually develop into a similar player, with perhaps a few more strikeouts but also a few more extra base hits along the way.
Revere is an exciting young guy and he doesn't cost a lot, but he's not irreplaceable. In Herrera, the Phils have a guy they think could be a potential center fielder and lead off hitter, although the jury is definitely still out on both. But with Revere, you know what you've got. Herrera's future is still unwritten.
If the Phils can grab a decent prospect or two from a team like the Angels, then it makes sense to move Revere, go with Herrera, and make room for Asche or Brown.
Even then the team would still have a glut of outfielders, but it would at least make the logjam less severe.
We would, of course, not have Ben Revere's smile, which is worth half a WAR in and of itself.