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NASHVILLE - Righthander Vance Worley had just finished working out at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday when he learned he was one of two pitchers the Phillies sent to the Twins in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere.
"At least I finished my workout here before I got traded," Worley said. "It was a great workout, too. Then I got the call from [Phillies General Manager] Ruben Amaro Jr. I was like, 'Aw, man. Hey, it was a great workout. Nice working with you.'"
Top Phillies pitching prospect Trevor May joined Worley in the trade for Revere. In a little more than a week, the Twins traded two center fielders, Revere and Denard Span, for pitching -- which shows just how dire their mound situation was.
"To get pitching," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said, "you are going to have to do something."
The Twins also picked up righthander Ryan Pressly with the fourth overall selection in the Rule 5 draft. Pressly went 7-5 with a 5.38 ERA between Class A and AA teams in the Red Sox organization last season. He is reported to have a mid-90s fastball and power curve and has been both a starter and reliever.
Worley, 25, is the starter of the moment. He went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA with the Phillies last season after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 2011. The decline occurred after bone chips in his right elbow stopped him from effectively using his cut fastball and made him more predictable.
Surgery in September removed the chips. Now Worley believes he's ready to pitch like he did two years ago, but in a different league.
"I have all my pitches working for me," said Worley, who throws a fastball clocked in the low 90s to go with a slider and changeup. "And I know the team is good. They can hit. That's the biggest thing as a starting pitcher, knowing you are going to go out there and give the team a chance to win because you are getting some runs."
Worley was a third-round pick in 2008 who never was ranked among the Phillies' top 10 pitching prospects by Baseball America but grinded his way to the majors.
May, 23, has the potential to be a No. 2 starter. A fourth-round pick in 2008, May was ranked as the Phillies' second-best prospect this past season by MLB.com. His fastball reaches the mid-90s and his slider and changeup are considered at least slightly above-average.
In five minor league seasons, he has 647 strikeouts in 525 1/3 innings. He has also walked 276 batters, so he needs to work on his control. He was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA in 28 starts for Class AA Reading last season.
"May has a lot of stuff," Ryan said. "He's got four pitches and plenty of velocity. He's got everything you look for, size and strength and durability."
Revere, the Twins' first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2007 draft, hit .278 with 64 RBI in two-plus seasons with the team. He has zero home runs in the majors in 989 at-bats.
He hit .294 last season (.314 against lefthanders), with six triples and 40 stolen bases in 124 games. His eight outfield assists led the Twins.
So Ryan landed a pitcher for now and a pitcher for later by trading Revere, but the deal leaves the Twins without a clear option in center field. Darin Mastroianni, who hit .252 in 163 at-bats for the Twins last season, is the only center fielder on the major league roster, and prospects Joe Benson and Aaron Hicks will get chances to prove themselves next season.
The Twins and Phillies worked on the deal this week during the winter meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and, by Wednesday night, were waiting for medical reports to be examined before announcing the deal. It represents the first trade of significance the Twins have made at the winter meetings since Ryan's first tour as GM began in 1994.
Worley will join lefthander Scott Diamond as the only pitchers seen as locks for the Twins' 2013 rotation. May is expected to start at Class AA New Britain but could challenge for a spot at Class AAA Rochester.
The trade also suggests the Twins are taking a step back in 2013. In addition to dealing center fielders Nos. 1 and 1A, they have holes at the top two spots in the batting order.
Ryan disagrees. He still has money he can spend on other free-agent starters this offseason -- he still has offers out to several -- and might look at a veteran center fielder if that player is affordable. But his goal, he says, is to put a competitive team on the field. The winter meetings are over, but the search for starting pitching continues.
"I don't think we are taking steps back," Ryan said. "We are trying to take steps forward. I would understand if someone did equate it into taking a step back, [but] we aren't going to take a step forward until we get pitching."
2012 (Phillies): 6-9, 4.20 ERA
Worley was a third-round pick in 2008. Fastball in the low 90s.
Went 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 2011.
2012 (AA): 10-13, 4.87 ERA
Farmhand pitched at Class AA Reading last season. Among top-rated Phillies prospects.
2012 (A, AA): 7-5, 5.38 ERA
Acquired through the Rule 5 draft, Boston farmhand finished last season at Class AA Portland.
2012: .294 BA, 40 steals
Speedy outfielder played in 124 games, sometimes spelling ex-Twin Denard Span in center field.
|Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon||4||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Samardzija||1|
|St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha||1||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez||3|
|Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse||5||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton||3|
|Toronto - WP: S. Delabar||3||FINAL|
|Cleveland - LP: M. Rzepczynski||2|
|LA Angels||11||Top 9th Inning|
|Atlanta - WP: A. Harang||6||FINAL|
|NY Mets - LP: J. Niese||0|
|Baltimore||8||Bottom 9th Inning|
|NY Yankees||5||Bottom 8th Inning|
|Seattle - LP: Y. Medina||4||FINAL|
|Miami - WP: S. Cishek||8|
|Chicago WSox||0||Top 8th Inning|
|Minnesota||0||Top 8th Inning|
|Philadelphia||1||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Houston||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|San Francisco||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Arizona||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|Dallas||0||1st Prd 13:09|
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