The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Ben Revere to a minor league contract for the 2018 season. Jon Heyman was the first to report it.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training with the Major League club. He is expect to get somewhere between $1M-1.5M if he makes the Major League club. Last season he played in 109 games for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of California of The United States of Earth. In that time he hit .275/.308/.344.

Ben Revere will turn 30 in May. He does some things well, and he struggles in other areas. What he does is put the bat on the ball. A lot. He has struck out in less than 10% of his plate appearances over the span of his career. He can also run well, providing good value on the bases.

Where Ben Revere struggles though, is two fold. First, he’s probably got the least power of any Major League regular over the last 10 years. In 857 career Major League games he has hit seven home runs. He went from 2010-2013 without hitting a single home run (342 games). Revere has never hit more than two home runs in a year. He is about as much of a singles only hitter as there is in the game today.

Despite having strong speed, Ben Revere has generally been a below-average fielder. The defensive metrics have been a bit back-and-forth with him, so I’m not sure I’d put a ton of faith in them. What they do tend to agree on though is that his arm has not helped his defense. He can handle center and he can play in left, though ideally you’d never want that bat in left field. As a back up, though, you can put him out there when needed.

It’s an interesting move, though not one that I think moves the needle. Revere is probably the best center fielder not named Billy Hamilton that will be in camp now that Jose Siri is injured. And Siri was never going to be competing for a job on the big league roster. Having a backup center fielder is important, but it’s tough to see how this kind of thing moves the needle much. He’s not rated as a strong defender in center, and if he’s not, with a low on-base percentage and no power at all, it’s tough to see how it’s an improvement on Phillip Ervin, or even Scott Schebler in center field.

What this could do, though, is give someone like Phillip Ervin every day at-bats in Triple-A instead of sitting on the big league bench as the 5th outfielder. There’s some usefulness in that playing out. Is it worth the money spent to do so? Well, it’s not my money, and by Major League pay, it’s next to nothing.