WASHINGTON -- It was 10:15 p.m. ET on Friday, and outfielder Ben Revere was ready for bed and looking forward to working out the next morning. Then the phone rang. It was Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, calling to inform Revere that he had been traded to the Nationals
WASHINGTON -- It was 10:15 p.m. ET on Friday, and outfielder Ben Revere was ready for bed and looking forward to working out the next morning. Then the phone rang. It was Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, calling to inform Revere that he had been traded to the Nationals for reliever Drew Storen.
On Monday afternoon, Revere sounded like a man excited about playing in his new surroundings and playing for manager Dusty Baker.
Revere, 27, had arguably his best season in the big leagues in 2015, hitting a combined .306 with 45 RBIs, 31 stolen bases and a .342 on-base percentage for the Phillies and Blue Jays. A leadoff hitter for most of his career, Revere has a .292 average while hitting in the top spot in the batting order.
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"For my game, as a contact hitter, I get on base and score," Revere said during a conference call on Monday. "Top of the lineup, bottom of the lineup, if there is any way I can help my team win, as long as I'm in the lineup, it doesn't matter. We'll see what Dusty wants to do."
By acquiring Revere, Washington addressed its need for a center fielder and another left-handed bat after saying goodbye to free agent Denard Span, who signed with the Giants last week. The Nats were right-hand dominant in 2015 because of injuries, but they've added Revere and Daniel Murphy this offseason, to go along with lefty slugger and reigning National League MVP Award winner Bryce Harper.
"I'm a leadoff guy who can steal bases and get on base [for] the big boys [to bring] me in," Revere said.
Revere wants to help the Nationals return to the postseason and help Harper win his second consecutive NL MVP Award.
"I know [the Nationals] were ticked off with how the season ended," said Revere. "They want to get back to the playoffs, hopefully bring a championship back to D.C. Bryce is a great guy. I've watched him for a long time. He is one of the top guys. When I get there, I'm going to get him a lot of RBIs and have him win back-to-back MVPs."
Revere also wants to improve his defense and strengthen his arm in order to win his first Gold Glove Award. Revere can play all three outfield positions, using his speed effectively. While he doesn't have a strong throwing arm, he's working on improving that part of his game.
"I don't have an arm like Bryce Harper or some of those other guys, but I get my outfield assists," Revere said. "My arm is getting stronger each and every year as I get older in this game. … I'm learning the game a lot more. [Former Phillies teammate] Jimmy Rollins told me he is still learning the game, and he has been in the league 15 years or more. It's kind of crazy knowing that, because you think he knows everything. Every year, I think I'm getting better and better mentally."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.