There is little clarity as to who will be playing center field for the Minnesota Twins during the 2013 season, but the team's starting rotation in 2014 or '15 continues to take shape.
One week after trading Denard Span for the Nationals' top pitching prospect, the Twins dispatched Span's presumptive replacement for the Phillies' top pitching prospect. The rebuilding AL Central club received Minor League right-hander Trevor May -- and Major League starter Vance Worley -- for outfielder Ben Revere on Thursday, the closing day at the Winter Meetings in Nashville.
May, who was the Phillies' second-ranked prospect, now becomes the Twins' fifth-ranked farmhand, two slots behind Meyer. So make no mistake: Despite the experience of Worley -- he was 18-13 with a 3.50 ERA in 53 career games before undergoing minor elbow surgery in September -- May is the centerpiece of this deal.
As Philadelphia's fourth-round draftee in 2008, May has developed steadily, spending time at each Minor League level, all the way up to Double-A Reading. The 23-year-old right-hander fashioned a 4.87 ERA and a 151-to-87 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 149 2/3 innings -- numbers that quantify his worst season as a pro. His low-to-mid-90 mph fastball, combined with a good curveball and improving changeup, lead scouts to believe he's still on his way up.
"Was an honor to be a part of Phillies org for the past 5 years," May (@Trevmay54) Tweeted after news of the deal spread. "I am truly grateful up for everything they have done for me."
May is likely to begin next spring at Triple-A Rochester in the International League and is therefore a full step ahead of Meyer. But both power-armed right-handers could be together in Minnesota as early as the latter half of 2014. Worley, meanwhile, gives the Twins an immediate quality starter, so long as he can stay healthy.
Revere is a younger, less offensive-minded version Span. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is an excellent defender and base-stealer, though 131 of his 150 hits in 2012 were singles. He also wouldn't be a free agent until 2018 at the earliest, which explains why Philadelphia had to dig into its pitching depth.
"We were dealing from what we considered a position of strength," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com. "We've added some talent as far as starting pitching is concerned toward the top with Ethan Martin, Jonathan Pettibone, Adam Morgan and some others. We felt comfortable moving them. The price of doing business right now to acquire players and free agents ... we just felt getting a controllable player with quite a bit of upside, we felt like he was a good fit for us."
Despite the loss of May, the Phils have lefty Jesse Biddle, righty Brody Colvin and righty Martin among their top seven prospects. All three are at similar stages in their careers and have May-like potential.