NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In a surprise move, the Twins dealt away another center fielder on Thursday in a continuing effort to add arms to their pitching staff, sending Ben Revere to the Phillies in exchange for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May.
The trade, coming on the last day of the Winter Meetings, comes exactly one week after Minnesota shipped center fielder Denard Span to Washington for Minor League right-hander and top prospect Alex Meyer. In parting with Revere, the Twins picked up a solid Major League pitcher in Worley and a top prospect in May.
"The only way we were going to get pitching was to make a little bit of a drastic move, whether or not you want to say it's drastic," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "It is a risk. I understand that. But to get pitching, you're going to have to do something. You can say the same thing about the trade for Denard."
Prospect acquired by Twins
Trevor May: May, ranked No. 2 on the Phillies' Top 20 at the time of the trade, has been slowly trying to make the transition from thrower to complete pitcher. The 2008 fourth-round pick had an up-and-down 2012 season, his first in Double-A. He continued to show swing-and-miss stuff, striking out 9.1 per nine innings to bring his career rate to 11.1. He also walked 4.7 per nine, something that has been an issue throughout his career. He does get his fastball up to 95 mph with plenty of sink and he can maintain his velocity deep into starts. He complements the fastball with an above-average curve and his changeup, while not as consistent, shows signs of being an above-average offering as well. Along with the trade for Alex Meyer, the Twins have now added a pair of high-upside power arms, something the system has lacked in recent years.
After going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA to finish third in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 2011, Worley fell to 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA over 133 innings in 2012. But Worley, 25, dealt with elbow issues last season and had bone chips removed from his elbow in September. He is expected to be fully healthy in time for Spring Training.
"He's got enough velocity," Ryan said. "He's got a slider, pitchability. He's a competitor."
May, 23, went 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA for Double-A Reading last season but was ranked by MLB.com as Philadelphia's No. 2 prospect before the trade. He has a career 3.92 ERA with 647 strikeouts and 276 walks in 525 1/3 innings in the Minors.
The Phillies were desperate for an everyday center fielder, and the Twins had a match in Revere. He ranked as one of the best defenders in baseball while playing all three outfield positions last season. He posted a .294/.333/.342 batting line to go with 40 stolen bases.
This deal leaves Minnesota without its top two options in center heading into the offseason. Darin Mastroianni figures to get a shot to start the year in center field, and the Twins have Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson waiting in the Minors.
Mastroianni was a pleasant surprise for the Twins last season. He hit .252 with a .678 OPS in 163 Major League at-bats last season to go along with 21 stolen bases in 24 attempts.
Hicks, the Twins' No. 4 prospect, posted a .286/.384/.460 batting line in Double-A New Britain last year, his fifth year in the Minor Leagues and was added to the 40-man roster after the season.
Benson, who saw time as a September callup in 2011 but struggled in the Minors in 2012 because of various injuries, also is a candidate to see playing time in center field. He's ranked as the club's No. 11 prospect, according to MLB.com.
Ryan also maintained that the Twins aren't looking past the '13 season despite trading Span and Revere.
"We're trying to take steps forward," Ryan said. "I would understand if somebody did equate it into taking a step back. We aren't going to take a step forward until we get any pitching."