Phillies deal for Ben Revere: MLB moves
Starter Vance Worley, pitching prospect Trevor May traded to Twins
The Phillies filled their biggest need right before the winter meetings ended, acquiring centre fielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Revere is expected to be Philadelphia's answer in centre. He batted .294 with 40 stolen bases in 124 games last season.
"Ben is an outstanding, young, controllable centre fielder who fits nicely with our club," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
The Phillies were seeking an everyday centre fielder after trading two-time All-Star Shane Victorino last July. They pursued free agents B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan before turning to the trade route. Upton left Tampa Bay for a $75 million, five-year deal with Atlanta. Pagan got a $40 million, four-year deal to stay in San Francisco.
Desperate to improve their pitching, the Twins have traded two centre fielders in a week. They sent Denard Span to Washington for minor league right-hander Alex Meyer.
"They had a lot of interest in a centre fielder, and they had some pitching they were willing to give up," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said.
Worley was 6-9 with a 4.20 earned-run average last year after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a rookie in 2011 and helping the Phillies win their fifth straight National League East title.
He had elbow surgery in September, but is expected to be ready for spring training.
May was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA at AA Reading.
Revere, a former first-round pick by the Twins, is a .278 hitter with 64 runs batted in and 74 steals in two-plus seasons with Minnesota. He's made 126 career starts in centre field, 84 in right field and 19 in left field.
The Twins also agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Jared Burton on a two-year, $5.5 million contract that includes a club option for the 2015 season.
The 31-year-old Burton had five saves and a 2.18 ERA in 62 innings with 16 walks and 55 strikeouts in 2012, his first season with the Twins. Burton became the primary eighth-inning setup man for closer Glen Perkins. Burton previously pitched for the Cincinnati Reds.
Burton will make $2.05 million in 2013 and $3.25 million in 2014. The Twins hold a $3.6 million option for 2015 with a $200,000 buyout.
James Loney, Rays complete deal
Free agent first baseman James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays completed their $2 million, 1-year contract Thursday.
The sides agreed on the deal earlier this week at the baseball winter meetings, pending a physical. Loney can make an additional $1 million in performance bonuses.
Tampa Bay is hoping the 28-year-old Loney can have a bounce-back year. He started last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, then was traded to Boston in July as part of the deal for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles.
Loney hit a combined .249 with six homers and 41 RBIs for the Dodgers and Red Sox. He had 90 RBIs in 2008 and 2009 and 88 RBIs in 2010 for Los Angeles, but his production has dropped since then.
Carlos Pena was Tampa Bay's regular first baseman last season and hit only .197 with 19 homers and 61 RBIs.
Uehara joins Red Sox
Reliever Koji Uehara has reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, pending a physical.
The 37-year-old right-hander spent the last two seasons with Texas, and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday that he had tried to re-sign him before Uehara decided to accept Boston's offer.
"We would have liked to have him back," Daniels said. "We made an offer early in the process."
Uehara had a 1.75 ERA in 37 relief appearances this year, holding batters to a .160 average.
Earlier in the week, Texas agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract with Joakim Soria, who is coming back from elbow surgery.
Reed Johnson stays with Braves
Reed Johnson, the top pinch hitter in the National League last season, rejoined the Atlanta Braves on Thursday with a one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.
The deal was announced two days before Johnson turned 36.
Atlanta acquired Johnson and pitcher Paul Maholm from the Chicago Cubs on July 30. Johnson hit a combined .290 with three home runs and 20 RBIs last season. He batted .419 (18 for 43) as a pinch hitter.
Johnson is a career .284 hitter with 62 home runs for Toronto, the Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta since making his major league debut in 2003.
Nieves re-signs with D-backs
Catcher Wil Nieves and the Arizona Diamondbacks have completed their $800,000, one-year contract.
The sides agreed to the deal Wednesday but Nieves needed to pass a physical. The Diamondbacks announced the signing on Thursday.
The 35-year-old Nieves, who wasn't tendered a contract by Arizona last week, batted .306 with a home run and three RBIs in 16 games for the D-backs in 2012.
Arizona claimed him off waivers from Colorado on Aug. 6. Nieves was designated for assignment by the Rockies after hitting .298 with one homer in 16 games with the Rockies and .306 with three homers in 111 at-bats for Triple-A Colorado Springs.