Alex Anthopoulos made plenty of trades at the 2015 trade deadline to help bolster the Blue Jays roster, but one of the more underrated of those moves was the acquisition of Ben Revere.
Revere would provide the Blue Jays with a long overdue legitimate lead-off hitter and do a superb job of setting the table for the big bats of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion. Sadly, Revere would only play those final three months of the ’15 season with Toronto before being traded to the Washington Nationals in exchange for reliever Drew Storen.
Storen ended up being a complete bust for the Blue Jays (6.21 ERA, 1.590 WHIP). Rumour has it Storen believed he should be the rightful closer over Roberto Osuna and was disappointed to not be closing out games. Anyway, Storen never did provide the Blue Jays with his best effort. Revere meanwhile hasn’t been quite the same since the move to the Nationals. Having gone from Washington in 2016 to Anaheim in 2017/2018, and struggling to produce like he did during his best years of 2012-2015.
There was something that just didn’t seem right when Toronto parted with Revere. In his short stay with the Blue Jays he’d quickly become a fan favourite for his boundless hustle and ability to rack-up hits. After shipping out Revere, the Blue Jays would spend the entire 2016 season unsuccessfully experimenting with six different players in the lead-off spot. And never did end up settling on any of them in that role.
Looking back, the Blue Jays probably should have held onto Revere. So it’s only fitting that this past weekend Toronto signed the speedy outfielder to a minor-league contract.
It’s been almost four years now since Revere last played with the Blue Jays, so what can Toronto expect from the soon-to-be 31-year old outfielder? As good as Revere was in his first go with the Blue Jays (.308 AVG, including 84 hits in 67 games), his style of play was somewhat wasted on a team that neglected the small-ball approach. If Revere can prove himself down in the minors, confirming that he can still hit for AVG and run well enough, he could be a great fit for Charlie Montoyo who is all about utilizing any means possible to generate offense.