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Indians acquire Mike Aviles, trade Rogers

Indians acquire Mike Aviles, trade Rogers
November 3, 2012
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The Cleveland Indians made their first move of the offseason Saturday after they traded right-handed reliever Esmil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles and catcher/infielder Yan Gomes.

Aviles' stint with the Blue Jays was brief as the right-handed hitter was previously traded to Toronto on Octover 21 from the Boston Red Sox in the deal that sent former Jays Manager John Farrell to Boston.

The 31-year-old Aviles appeared in 136 games as the Red Sox starting shortstop last season and batted .250 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI. Aviles will likely be a utility player with the Indians next season, and he will also probably become Asdrubal Cabrera's primary backup at shortstop. Given that he is a right-handed hitter and can play shortstop, Aviles helps to fill two immediate needs of the Major League club. A slew of players struggled in backing up Cabrera at shortstop last season, and Aviles provides an immediate upgrade in that department.

The other player acquired in the trade, Yan Gomes, spent the majority of last season with Triple-A Las Vegas where he hit .328 with 44 runs, 29 doubles, 13 home runs and 59 RBI in 79 games. The right-handed hitter also spent some time with the Blue Jays and became the first Brazilian-born player to reach the Major Leagues. In 43 games with the big league club, Gomes hit .204 with four home runs and 13 RBI.

Like Aviles, Gomes also fills a need because of his versatility and the fact that he is right-handed. Overall, he spent time at catcher, first base, third base, left field and designated hitter last season in the Major Leagues.

The player the Indians moved in the trade, Esmil Rogers, was coming off a breakout 2012 campaign in which he posted a 3.06 ERA in 53 innings of relief work while striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings. Rogers likely became expendable because of the high-impact arms that are currently in the Indians minor league system and close to the Major League level.

Steve can be reached via email at

User Comments

November 4, 2012 - 8:01 AM EST
Im a big fan of this trade a utility infielder that bats from the ritht side of the plate was a need this off season. Id have to say francona had a hand in that move he did come from boston. I dont know much about gomes but depth the the upper part of our minor league system is muchly needed. I will miss rogers he was a solid power arm in the bullpen and a nice young arm but the indians have many solid arms in the upper levels to replace him. Glad to see asdrubal and kipnis will get some rest both had their the play drop off in the second half of the season. Hey we are only a leftfielder, dh, first baseman and 2 starting pitchers away from contending. Lol.
November 4, 2012 - 1:00 AM EDT
Hey Thugz, I'll make sure it's 8000 for your reading pleasure
November 3, 2012 - 10:30 PM EDT
I agree with Tony in that I am in favor of this deal. Lillibridge and Donald weren't legitimate shortstop options, thus Cabrera had to play virtually every game at short. Besides his poor conditioning, the lack of rest wore Cabrera out as the season wore on. Perhaps Aviles can rest Cabrera at short twice a week and Cabrera can DH. This might help Asdrubal be more productive at the plate. Trading from their strength - the bullpen depth - is something the Indians have to do.

I predict trading Chris Perez won't be far behind. He should be valuable in a weak free agent market for closers. Question is if the Indians target a bat for Perez or a starting pitcher.

This trade a good first step but the Indians have to be very active and aggressive this off-season.
November 3, 2012 - 9:01 PM EDT
Tony, is Aviles here for utility?
He hit well in the PCL (PCL is easy to hit in.) & had two very good years at KC.
Is he a backup SS, a PH, or has management now changed its philosophy towards the inf, Asdrubal & SS?
RH bat, some power, only 100 games at 3B, and with Kipnis at 2B, I think it's a reasonable assumption that the GM may be re-thinking his former positions on a lot of things.
Cabrera would make a fine LF after adjustment.
Then again, if the Indians don't think they can re-sign him, he may be moved.
November 3, 2012 - 6:09 PM EDT
Tom, I guess you can never say never, but if I rephrase it then it is very unlikely Cabrera is traded this offseason. I don't see it. In addition to things I know, it would also make little sense. Maybe "the right deal" presents itself, but I don't see it. Cabrera is not a major trade piece to bring back a major need. He's more important to the Indians than anything they likely get in return. Also, if trading Cabrera, then why not reboot the entire thing? That's obviously not happening, so another reason he is likely to stay unless that aforementioned "right deal" falls into their lap.

As for Jason Donald....he had his chances but was too inconsistent, couldn't stay healthy (not his fault), and just is not a Major League option at shortstop.
November 3, 2012 - 5:49 PM EDT
I find it laughable that Tony can definitely say that Cabrera is "not being traded". Sorry, you may casually know a few people, but you're a guy that runs a website about Indians prospects. Sorry, but can't help but be skeptical.
November 3, 2012 - 5:47 PM EDT
If he is indeed to fill a utility role, I trust Aviles can play infield positions other than shortsop. If that is the case, he's an improvement over 2012. Still this nothing more than minor tinkering. If he were on the team this past year, it would have made little difference. Should Gomes make the 25 man roster at the start of the year...well, let's try not to think about that.
November 3, 2012 - 5:45 PM EDT
Interesting to see what happens to Jason Donald now. I always liked him, but I'm curious about his future.
November 3, 2012 - 5:38 PM EDT
Cabrera is not being traded, and most certainly is not moving to a new position.
November 3, 2012 - 5:36 PM EDT
Las Vegas---Boston--have what in common?
Inflated power stats.
Nonetheless, this move may mean more time at 1B & DH for Carlos Santana and that is good, and it may mean Asdrubal Cabrera gets moved to LF or to another team.
I favor LF.
Bone Thugz
November 3, 2012 - 4:35 PM EDT
I look forward to Jim's 4,000 word essay about three mediocre players.
November 3, 2012 - 4:11 PM EDT
I for one, am a fan of this deal. Liked what Rogers did after coming over from Colorado, but who's to say his breakout wasn't related to a new league and a bit of a fluke? His fastball, while appealing due to the flashy velocity was about as straight as it gets, and his slider seemed inconsistent at times. Not saying he can't continue on as a quality reliever, but I don't see an elite setup man or closer here.

Gomes is an intriguing depth option, ala Russ Canzler. If he can fill a spot on the bench at some point later in the year, maybe even as the backup catcher, then great.

Aviles is a quality infielder who's started quite often and has been quite useful during his career. As for a complete package, he's instantly an upgrade over either Brent Lillibridge and Jack Hannahan (both guys I like mind you) as well as Jason Donald to this point.

I hope this is only the start of a creative and fun offseason from our front office. Aviles is a good addition to the infield and helps balance out a bit of the left handed hitting. He's not a world beater, but he's a good supplement to the roster as its constructed.
November 3, 2012 - 3:55 PM EDT
Hard not to be a fan of the deal considering what they gave up to acquire the two. Rogers certainly had a good season and all, but with the pen arms in the upper levels, he is definitely replaceable.
November 3, 2012 - 3:53 PM EDT
I'm a fan of the deal as it fills two needs at the big league level and they traded from a position of strength in the organization. Be sure to check out Jim's writeup later.....and I will also have lots of thoughts on the deal in Happenings tomorrow.
November 3, 2012 - 3:45 PM EDT
Interesting move...I'll have my thoughts on the deal up later...

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