Outfielder Ben Revere was getting nervous as he worked out on his own, hoping some team would offer a deal. The Cincinnati Reds finally brought him aboard with a chance to win a spot as a backup.
Revere was in the glut of veterans who hadn’t signed deals when spring training opened. He finally got some interest from the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Reds, who are the closest team to his hometown of Lexington. The former Lexington Cathlolic star signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati, ending his uncertainty while many others still wait.
“A bunch of guys are getting nervous, I’ll tell you that,” Revere said Tuesday. “It is definitely crazy. There are many more out there to this day, great players. You could build an All-Star team with the many guys still out there.”
Revere will get a chance to win a spot on the bench. The left-handed hitter has played all three outfield positions during his career with Minnesota, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington and the Los Angeles Angels. He made $4 million last season with the Angels, batting .275 with one homer and 20 RBI in 109 games, most of them in left field.
“I’ve seen him play,” Manager Bryan Price said. “He isn’t a secret. He’s a well-versed baseball guy. We have four outfielders with a solid footing on the roster. He can offer a component that we may lack — speed off the bench.”
Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker are the top four outfielders. Price would like to carry a fifth outfielder on the bench. The 29-year-old Revere figured no other team was going to give him a better chance.
“This was the best opportunity to come in and make the ballclub,” Revere said.
Revere was working out at home in Kentucky where the weather has been unpredictable, limiting his workouts.
“Every time I tried to get outside and hit, it would rain,” he said. “I have a trainer, but I was doing just speed work and agility.”
He was happy to be in a major league camp, unlike the other unsigned free agents who are still working out on their own and waiting for an offer.
“Eventually guys will find a team,” he said. “Situations happen, injuries happen, where you need somebody. I’m definitely glad to be here.”