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Ben Revere could be on Tigers’ short list for center field

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Ben Revere

National Harbor, Md. – The Detroit Tigers believe JaCoby Jones can be their everyday center fielder. They just aren’t sure when.

“JaCoby Jones is a viable option,” general manager Al Avila said in his post-season media address. “I think there’s people in the organization that feel he could use more time in Toledo. I’m of the opinion he could use more time in Toledo.”

Which is why, among the items on his to-do list here at the Winter Meetings, Avila is looking for an affordable veteran to plug in on a short-term deal – something far less than the $9 million it would have cost to keep Cameron Maybin.

One of the players that would fit the bill is Ben Revere, who was non-tendered by the Nationals last week and is a free agent.

Revere, 28, is coming off the worst offensive season of his seven-year career. A career .285 hitter, he battled an oblique strain early in the season and his average fell to .217.

But, he’d not hit lower than .298 in the previous four seasons and averaged 33 steals a year from 2011 through 2015.

Although he’s a staple of annual year-end highlight shows, his defensive metrics in center field are underwhelming. In seven years, according to baseballreference.com, he rates a minus-21 in defensive runs saved.

Revere earned $6.25 million with the Nationals last season.

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Avila said last month that Jones could still win the job – or at least share it -- with a strong spring. He boosted his stock by hitting .329, with a .391 on-base percentage, in the Arizona Fall League.

Avila is expected to speak to the media here Monday evening.

Twitter @cmccosky