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Storylines: Indians pick up club option on Milke Aviles

Storylines: Indians pick up club option on Milke Aviles
Mike Aviles (Photo: AP)
October 23, 2014
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Top Stories

  • Mike Aviles will be back on the Indians roster for the 2015 season. The Indians decided to exercise their $3.5 million option on him for 2015 instead of buying him out for $250K. According to Paul Hoynes, the Indians could have went either way with the decision since they are limited financially for the upcoming season. Aviles hit .247 with 5 HR and 39 RBI. He only played in 113 games last season which was 11 games less than what he played in 2013. The possibility exists that he could be traded this offseason, but he looks likely to open the 2015 in his customary utility role.
  • The Kansas City Royals defeated the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night, 7-2. The series is now tied 1-1. They will play Game 3 at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Friday.

Other News and Notes

  • Ken Gurnick of reports that former Arizona Diamondback and San Diego Padres GM Josh Bynes is gaining interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers just recently hired Andrew Friedman as President of Baseball Operations and promoted former GM Ned Colletti.
  • Alex Spier of reports that James Shields disappointing performance in Game 1 of the World Series could lead to a lower free agent price tag.
  • According to David O’ Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Braves will likely deal catcher Evan Gattis to an AL team so top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt can start.
  • James Wagner of the Washington Post reports that Palm Beach County in Florida has approved $108 million in public funding for a $135 million spring training complex that will be shared by the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros in the future once a mutual site is agreed upon.
  • According to Corey Brock of, hitting coach Phil Plantier has been relieved of his duties as the hitting coach of the San Diego Padres. The Padres had one of the worst offenses in baseball last season.
  • According to Mike Berardino of the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Paul Molitor’s interview with Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan went “fine,” but did not result in his hiring as manager.
  • The Minnesota Twins have declined the option of righty Jared Burton. The option was worth $3.6 million and he will be bought out for $200K.
  • The Los Angeles Angels have claimed catcher Jackson Williams off waivers from the Colorado Rockies. He is recovering from knee surgery.
  • According to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500, the Minnesota Twins have sold lefty Kris Johnson to the Hiroshima Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.
  • Chris Cotillo of reports that the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a minor league deal with catcher John Hester.
  • Jason Beck of reports the Detroit Tigers will still use Joe Nathan as their closer next season. Nathan struggled in the role throughout last season.

User Comments

October 27, 2014 - 9:23 PM EDT
Walters fans should actually be happy they don't want to pigeon-hole him into the Aviles role next year. And for those who don't think that he has anything to prove at AAA is obviously not looking at his K-rate, and the obvious holes in his swing he exhibited at the ML level. Walters has A LOT to work on, especially if he wants to be a full-time starter in the future, which is what the organization definitely hopes he will be after paying 3 million or so to get him.
October 27, 2014 - 2:17 AM EDT
Most of you guys are right. We don't need Aviles. We don't need a backup or a fill -in as he has been described as. We need better front line players. We can't hit. We can't score. We need a middle of the order many times can we say it. The FO is always crying poverty...and when they do do spend a little they spend foolishly. Giambi,Murphy Swisher,,Aviles,Chisenhall...are all dead wood who don't even belong in the majors. And please enough already with the cheap relievers...they don't have any leads to protect.
October 26, 2014 - 5:56 AM EDT
Picking up the option on Aviles is a non-factor. We see the same nonsense year after year. Our deals involve utility players and reclamation projects. These so called deals do nothing to improve the team. In order for us to contend they have to make a real splash...we need a middle of the order hitter. Anything else is just FODDER to appease us fans. Depending on Swisher and Kipnes to rebound and carrying guys like Giambi,Murphy and Chisenhall is just an excuse not to spend. The past two seasons we have wasted some good pitching because we can't hit. Utility players are not the answer. And cheap relievers don't have anything to protect if we can't score. Dolan must step up and make a move for an impact hitter or ...GET OUT OF TOWN ALREADY.
October 25, 2014 - 1:02 AM EDT
Signing Aviles makes no difference to the success of this team. It gives us depth. Depth is good if you have the right starters in place to begin with...and we don't. We have too many holes in the lineup. We have too many guys that can barely hit better than .230. Giambi,Swisher,Murphy,Chisenhall are empty bats that we have to carry. It is why we can't score consistently. We need an impact hitter YESTERDAY.
October 24, 2014 - 6:37 PM EDT
It's so frustrating when I read or hear ppl say Jose Ramirez is a utility player. I counted 11 teams he coujld start for DAY ONE
October 24, 2014 - 11:23 AM EDT
Please stop posting on this site and going on minor league message boards!!! I need more cheetos and budweiser!!!!! Go to the store!! Also get me some Melissa McCarthy movies!!!
Vic Venom
October 24, 2014 - 11:20 AM EDT
Fake Hiram posting here. Hiram would of came up with a better insult than that one.

October 24, 2014 - 10:38 AM EDT
Vic Venom and Supertickedoff tickle each other's buttholes every night
ViC Venom
October 24, 2014 - 9:22 AM EDT
AMEN to everything SuperTickedOff said. PREACH BROTHA!!!!!
October 24, 2014 - 7:39 AM EDT

"Realistically, there isn't alot to do to this team to make it a playoff contender. A RH bat if one is available, some SP depth, and better defense should do the trick."

If Kipnis stays the only change opportunities are RF and 3b. If infield defense is to change - and Kipnis stays the only change possible is at 3b.

Unless there are some stunning structural changes - our focus should be on how the team deals with Chiz.

October 24, 2014 - 2:00 AM EDT
Picking up Aviles' option brings different scenarios to my mind. Maybe they picked his option up because they have an agreement in place to trade Ramirez(and whatever else) for the RH bat we all desire. In that case Aviles is the SS until Lindor is deamed ready.

I am a big fan of Walters, but his plate discipline needs alot of attention. He needs reps and he won't get them consistantly being a utility player. Columbus would appear to be his destination unless he displays improved bat to ball skills and strike zone discipline. As far as his defensive abilities, he looks to be as good or better than Kipnis at 2B and is a damn sight better than Cabrera was at SS. Regardless, offense is his calling card while being servicable defensively.

I do share some of Supertickedoff's sentiments, but I'm more willing to take the chance on young players with higher upsides than most. This isn't a recent epiphany either. Money spent on guys like Murphy, Aviles, and some bullpen arms that are easily replaced by younger, better, and cheaper options add up quickly. I'm sure they have their reasons and I do trust that this management team is atleast trying to put a winner on the field. Realistically, there isn't alot to do to this team to make it a playoff contender. A RH bat if one is available, some SP depth, and better defense should do the trick.
October 24, 2014 - 12:54 AM EDT
I've reserved comment, because I found it hard to get worked up about this signing, one way or another.

However, as one of the foremost defenders of advanced stats on this site, and someone who generally advocates for using limited dollars as wisely as possible, I felt the need to weigh in here.

Mike Aviles, as far as I can tell, is a largely useless player. He can play a bunch of positions, but he can't play any of them well. He can't get on base, and provides almost no power.

However, I have no problem with this option being picked up. Tondo provided some very intelligent commentary on the options available to the Indians for cheaper, and he's right. The same type of player could be signed for a couple million $ discount.

But the front office already knows for sure that Mike is a popular guy in the clubhouse, and I have no trouble believing that many core players were lobbying the FO for this option to be picked up. By no means am I suggesting that the players should dictate which contracts should be extended, but when it's a small amount of money, and the difference in who could be signed is so marginal, I don't blame the front office one bit.

The other guys available might not fit in to the clubhouse atmosphere, much less be a unifying figure the way Aviles is. I suspect the FO took that into account when they made this decision.

While I am a proponent of building a team as efficiently as possible, even I can understand keeping marginal guys around when they keep the core guys happy. Anybody who watches the interaction between core guys and Aviles on twitter and other social media knows just hoe popular he is in that clubhouse.
October 23, 2014 - 11:09 PM EDT
As if our defense isn't bad enough some of you guys really want Zach Walters as our utility infielder and Evan Gattis to play RF. Sounds like a nightmare. Francona got to see plenty of Walters last year in practice and clearly didn't feel comfortable sticking him out in the field. Not too mention all the strikeouts and the sub. 200 OBP. Are we really clamoring for that guy, indians fans get a hold of yourselves (smack)
October 23, 2014 - 10:29 PM EDT
Clay you should check yourself, son. Mike Aviles SUCKS. I'm 100% serious here; we're going to hear Antonetti and Shapiro CRYING POOR come late February when the Indians aren't able to add any impact bats this season. They should have $$ to spend, but they have tied up tens of millions in mediocre veterans like Swisher, Bourn, Murphy, you can understand why I'm super ticked when they double down on a clearly bad veteran in Mike Aviles. The $3.5 million is REAL MONEY; it's not chump change when you're counting pennies like the Indians are.

What has Mike Aviles done in the last three years that shows he's got any value? He can't even get an OBP above .280. Jose Ramirez far outplayed him in Cleveland last year. Aviles isn't a good defensive player and he sucks offensively. So let's reward him with $3.5 million next year.

And this is to Tony...why you're defending this move is beyond me. "Most importantly" it allows the Indians to take their time with Francisco Lindor -- that flexibility sure as hell isn't worth $3.5 million. That is RIDICULOUS. Let's not forget that Mike Aviles sucks ... the Indians can't find some guy that sucks with the bat but can play mediocre D at SS, 3B and 2B? Those guys are available to sign for far less than $3.5 million.

This is what pisses me off...when the Indians don't do anything this offseason to add a bat from free agency, all the Indians apologist journalists will say, "The Indians just don't have the money". The fact is the Indians would HAVE THE MONEY if they didn't do stupid things like commit $6 million to D Murphy, $2.5 million to Raburn and $3.5 million to Aviles -- it's no secret those guys suck but the Indians are committed to paying them $12 million in 2015. That is $12 million that could be used to get someone that is actually good. Murphy, Raburn and Aviles are all replacement level players, where comparable players are available for a million bucks or less a piece. It's a TOTAL JOKE and I AM SICK OF THIS WASTEFUL SPENDING. These players are NOT GOOD. I get Swisher and Bourn b/c those guys were once impactful players but we're committing tons of money to MEDIOCRE PLAYERS.

I sure hope Mike Aviles is saving his money b/c this is the last real paycheck he'll ever get b/c dude will be OPS'ing .700 in the Mexican League next year where he belongs. This Aviles money should come out of Francona's salary, b/c TF is the only reason why he's coming back. TF is gonna be back on pain pills when he looks at Aviles' .260 OBP next year

Lets not kid ourselves. If the Indians somehow make the playoffs in 2015, we all very well know we'll never look back at any important part of the season and thank our lucky stars that we had Mike Aviles. YOU KNOW ITS TRUE. Dude just is not a difference maker. $3+ million WASTED.
October 23, 2014 - 9:22 PM EDT
Mike Aviles is not the problem - nor the answer to our problems. Personally I have always been a fa of his.

Mike is a solid member of the roster that provides a major league backup at all infield positions.

The challenge of this team is resolve the value of guys like KIpnis.

October 23, 2014 - 8:07 PM EDT
Good lord I wish people would chill the F out sometimes.

October 23, 2014 - 4:41 PM EDT
No big deal. They need a guy like Aviles who can play anywhere. $3.5m is not breaking the bank and not enough to do anything with anyway. And I agree, Walters is not there yet. Maybe some day though. Good to have Aviles in the fold IMO. Now, let's take care of the big needs and get us another RH bat and a pitcher or two!
October 23, 2014 - 4:41 PM EDT
Britdawg, thanks for the correction on those two (Smith / Merritt), I was working entirely off the top of my head there. Glad Merritt won't need protected yet.

Completely forgot Chris Gimenez, enough said. :)
October 23, 2014 - 3:25 PM EDT
I've been big on the "let Aviles go" drum, but I pretty much expected this. Francona has had way too many nice things to say about Aviles for me to believe he'd be okay with letting him go.

I think it would have been much easier to let him go if Zach Walters had played better, and shown any kind of plate discipline. Walters has the same positional versatility as Aviles (even if his glove isn't as good). But Walters struck out 35% of his PAs at the major league level, and that means he basically has to be ticketed for AAA. If Walters had impressed, though, I think we'd be seeing Aviles let go.
October 23, 2014 - 2:40 PM EDT
I can't believe the Indians. They talk about how there isn't much financial flexibility and how they can't add much, but then they go out and spend $3.5 million on some terrible utility guy that had an OPS of .616 last year and will be old at 34 next year. This is blasphemy. Mike Aviles sucks and is a worse player than Jose Ramirez. Just a joke. Aviles will play crappy D and do nothing at the plate, but his "flexibility" earns him $3.5 million? The Indians can get some crappy AAA middle infielder with some SS experience and pay him $3 million less and he'll do no worse than Aviles. AVILES HASN'T SNIIFFED A .700 OPS IN THREE YEARS!!! Wow, I can't believe this BS. Thanks Francona for making sure we have "one of your guys" locked in next year. Every time Aviles stepped to the plate last year I knew he'd do nothing, and his anemic OBP and SLG the last three years prove it. WASTED MONEY ON AN OLD PLAYER THAT WILL HAVE NO VALUE NEXT YEAR. This is BS
October 23, 2014 - 2:07 PM EDT
Jamyson: Take pity on an old man with a grammar fetish. "Could have went" is not proper usage. What you mean is "could have gone." #2: If you can count them (e.g., games, cockroaches, whatever), then you can refer to more or fewer (not "less"). Use less for things you can't count (e.g., gases, liquids, and non-quantifiable things n general, such as integrity or personal honor).
MT88w in WI
October 23, 2014 - 1:59 PM EDT
Tony- I will float this out there again. Is Chisenhall for Van Slyke a reasonable trade?

If so holding onto Aviles is critical as Mike would pair with Urshella or some other person to cover 3rd base until a permanent answer is determined...
October 23, 2014 - 12:24 PM EDT
Tondo, right now, to start the season, I have a ton more confidence in what I am going to get out of Aviles than Walters. Aviles is what he is, but is still rather consistent and reliable in the role he is in. Walters is way too up and down for me as a bench guy.
October 23, 2014 - 11:48 AM EDT
I think the best part of bringing Aviles back and having Urshela in the wings is that the Indians don't have to make a fingers-crossed bounce back type deal for a 3B - basically an INF redux of the Murphy signing. I'm in agreement with the IBI sentiment that the Indians really need another late-inning reliever. Hopefully the limited remaining funds go to the bullpen.
October 23, 2014 - 11:08 AM EDT
Indians roster is currently at only 39 and you forgot Chris Gimenez as an obvious DFA along with Giambi and Seller. Those spots should got to Urshela, Armstrong and Wolters. Those 3 are the most likely to be able to stay on a MLB roster for an entire season.

One of Barnes/Maronde will get the ax too, Shuck should be next. Those two along with the open spot, leave 3 more, but 1-2 FAs need to be facored in that equation. I think the next likely to be picked is Soto as a true LOOGY. 19:4 K:BB and .141 BAA vs LHB at AA will get the attention of MLB GMs. Anderson, Colon and Roberts could be picked, but I don't see how any MLB team can hide any of them for an entire season, but it's still a risk. Merritt hasn't pitched above A+ yet, so I don't see him picked and thus protected

Indians should look to clear some 40 spots if they make a trade, 2 or 3:1 type deals
October 23, 2014 - 10:58 AM EDT
Homer - only one of the guys you mention as a possible addition needs to be protected for the Rule 5 and that's Urshela. (Note that Ryan Merritt and Jordan Smith aren't even Rule 5 eligible yet, as they were both drafted in 2011.)

It's highly unlikely that any of the others will be taken, because the new team would then either have to carry them on the 25-man roster for the entire season or forfeit their rights back to the Tribe.
October 23, 2014 - 10:57 AM EDT
Id be in for getting Gattis. However, there is some speculation that the Braves will look to trade Jason Heyward or Justin Upton. Both have one yr deals and are FA after the 15 season. Speculation they'll try to resign one or both and hold Gattis as their LF if one or the other is traded.

There will be some RH options out there for the Tribe, maybe guys like Trumbo, Viciedo, Van Slyke and Byrd become available.

OF Alex Rios or 3b Chase Headley could be FA targets that fit the Tribe budget and meet the need.

Other guys...Beltre, Donaldson, Frazier, Ramirez, Harrison, Puig, Ozuna would all be intriguing adds, but costly.
October 23, 2014 - 10:45 AM EDT
The Tribe has one FA, so they'll have to make some deals or DFA a few guys. Who is coming off the roster?

Giambi - FA

DFA candidates?
Sellers, Barnes, Shuck, Price, Maronde

Raburn - (doubtful)

Possible Additions?
Anderson, Merritt, Armstrong, Wolters, Urshela, Colon, Roberts

Others? - (much less likely)
JSmith, Tejada, Arajuo, Soto, Lowery, Monsalve, LRod
October 23, 2014 - 10:18 AM EDT

in my scenario, Walters would only be the UTIL for the first 5 weeks. That's what? 1-2 starts at SS? Ride JRam until Lindor clears the contract stuff. If he looks horrible in ST, you can still option him to Columbus and open with Elliott Johnson-type. It wouldn't be the first time the Indians did that. The Indians are basically paying Aviles 3.5mil for 2 months of bench and a couple of starts a week? Sure, he "fills" two bench spots, but the part you forgot to mention is that he fills them at bad level. He's a bad player, with the bat or glove, so pardon me for not being excited to read that he can suck twice a week at different spots on the field. I know many more players who can accomplish the same and I've seen it live and in colour for the past two seasons.

That's my problem: why be happy with that? Was there really no alternative? At least give some young guy a chance who could surprise. Nobody thought JRam would be good enough at SS until we found out. Walters played SS for the Nationals. He has played exactly the same positions Aviles has, who was far from a good defender himself. Too many around here have adopted this "not to look bad" mindset, it's apologetic in nature. We trot out the same guys again next season? Guess what, we won't look better guaranteed
October 23, 2014 - 10:05 AM EDT
I'm in agreement with Rocky on Evan Gattis. I think he can handle RF adequately enough (at least better than guys like Michael Morse and Nelson Cruz). I also think he'll get better as he's hasn't played a lot of baseball for being 28 years old (dropped out of college and roamed around for a bit). He's still learning the game and IMO will get better. I don't see Brantly in RF as an option as he doesn't have a strong enough arm (other teams will take first-to-third liberties on him). I also think the Braves would put Gattis in RF if they didn't have two RF's on the team in Heyward and J.Upton.

As for Aviles, I'm okay with this as he's an experienced backup. If you are starting a lot of youngsters (J-Ram and/or Lindor) vets are very useful plus.
October 23, 2014 - 9:59 AM EDT
They're just 2 of many names, maybe keeping Aviles forces a roster crunch and leaves one of Colon/Roberts unprotected.

I don't have a big problem with Aviles, but picking up his option is just reminding me of what is wrong with the Indians: they have so much fear that gambling on someone like Walters to take up a bench spot, that they rather overpay for a guy they know exactly how much he's gonna suck. With Aviles they know what they get and even if it is bad pretty much all around, they seem to be relieved that it can't be "rookie level bad". And when, like Raburn or Swish last year, those vets suck as much or worse than rookies, then they at least have the "track record" excuse. They manage "not to look bad" style and to me that's become the equivalent of the "not to lose" coaching in football, as in: it's a loser's mindset
October 23, 2014 - 9:57 AM EDT
Walters absolutely should not be Plan A for the utility role. He's a decent fallback option if Aviles gets hurt or one of the infield starters gets hurt and Aviles moves into a starting role. But that's what he should be. A fallback. He's not the kind of bat you want coming cold off the bench or guy you want playing 2-4 games a week. He really needs everyday reps at this point, and AAA is where it should be to start the year.
October 23, 2014 - 9:56 AM EDT
While I think 3.5 million is a bit too much for Aviles, I'm not counting on him being in Cleveland al year. My guess is barring injury he will be dealt midseason when Lindor comes up. As for making Walters the utility guy, he doesn't have the above average to good defense Id want for a utility infielder plus Id rather have him get some AB's in AAA in the corner sports to groom him as Rayburn's replacement after this year.
October 23, 2014 - 9:53 AM EDT
I would prefer not to bring back Aviles for $3.5M, but considering the alternatives (there are none from within), I am fine with him back for one more year. Signing a utility guy as a FA to a small deal or as a minor league invite brings about a lot of uncertainty for how that player fits in and such that the fact they know Aviles, what he does, how he fits, and such makes it worth it. Plus, he is essentially one player filling two player roles as the utility infielder and a part-time outfielder. Having him around as the utility guy should allow them to keep a Murphy or Chisenhall on the bench or in a platoon role depending what they do at 3B and or RF this offseason.

What this does is setup the infield for the next few years. Assuming Lindor comes up and does his thing sometime this season and Kipnis stays at second base, then Ramirez will move into Aviles' role and be a cheap utility option and excellent 10th man option for the lineup.
October 23, 2014 - 9:48 AM EDT
I cant believe we are worried about 2 LOOGY pitchers in Soto and Araujo. Both are injury prone and both would probably not help this team in 2015.
October 23, 2014 - 9:46 AM EDT

Ramon Santiago should come cheaper and he's a better defender with the same questionable bat. Aviles is a backup anyway. Why not give Walters the job? He has nothing left to prove at AAA. Get one of the millions of Sellers, E.Johnon types as a Minors FA as insurance. The Indians wouldn't win or lose one more game with this setup, if anything Walters offers considerably more upside. They would also save some much needed 3mil in the process.
October 23, 2014 - 9:42 AM EDT
Francona guy? Is this the mafia? This loyalty thing is becoming a problem in my opinion. A team like the Indians just can't afford to waste even 1-2mil on bench guys. It's one thing to gamble that kind of money on a vet reclamation project, but to re-invest it in a guy who has the upside of a .650 OPS hitter and is more probable to regress below .600, in other words: who is a known quantity.

And it's not only a waste of money. When the Rule 5 is over and we lose a LOOGY like Araujo or Soto, keep in mind then that the loss of those prospects goes to the "Francona guy" tab. The Indians are not only wasting 6mil between Aviles and Raburn, they're also letting prospects get away for free because those guys eat up a 40 spot. Bad managing and a huge waste of resources all around
October 23, 2014 - 9:37 AM EDT
Predictable. No surprise. If not traded will be on this team in 2015. Everyone complaining about his 3.5 mil, well would you want to pay similar type of player 4 mil, who was injured all year, and provided no value to the team. That player is former Indian Jack Hannahan with the Reds. They are planning to non tender his final year of contract and pay the 2 mil buyout option. It look like the Indians have gotten better value with Aviles.

Many are saying they want a utility player for 500,000. Ramirez is to young to hold that position. The player that would meet that criteria is Sellers. I would rather have Aviles over Sellers.
October 23, 2014 - 9:28 AM EDT
Good move by Tribe to pick up Aviles option. Mike filled in pretty well when called upon, a skill that a younger player usually struggles with. He had more clutch hits than some every day players.
October 23, 2014 - 8:47 AM EDT
Not sure why anyone is surprised. I have said all along that the option for Aviles would be picked up. He's a Francona guy and important in that clubhouse. While $3.5M is a little much for what he provides he offers them a fallback shortstop/third base/second base option the first few months of the season if any of JRam/Kipnis/Chisenhall/3B pickup get hurt in spring or early in the season. He is also very versatile and can play in the outfield too.

Probably most importantly, he allows the Indians to choose when Lindor comes up and not rush him. They always planned to have Lindor open the season in Columbus and bring him up in May/June at the earliest. If anyone felt that Lindor (or Urshela) were possibilities to start the season in Cleveland, you have not been paying attention to the way they handle rookies, especially zero service ones who are potential core players. Whenever Lindor arrives, assuming JRam is healthy and playing well, a decision will come then on what to do with JRam and what role he fills.
Jake D.
October 23, 2014 - 8:44 AM EDT
I'm on the fence about this. On one hand, the Indians have limited assets this offseason to bring in external talent, at least on the free agent market, but on the other, I think Aviles has provided more value on and off the field than people give him credit for. He played less games than 2013, but I still think he was overused at too many positions due to the Indians' issues at 3B, 2B, SS and in the outfield. Plus, he shouldn't have been in the starting lineup batting 2nd toward the end of the season. Use him properly in a more traditional part-time role and his value will be more clear.

I know a lot of fans are tired of hearing about "clubhouse presence", especially when it comes to guys like Swisher and Giambi, who have not produced enough on the field. But regardless, it is a crucial factor to this team. No way would they have kept their heads above water and stayed in the playoff race this season up until the end if they didn't have the calming and rallying influence of those guys, including Aviles.
October 23, 2014 - 7:53 AM EDT
While not knowing the rationale behind picking up the option on Aviles, it does seem like wasted money. Ramirez offers more as a player & could easily slide into the Utility role when Lindor is brought up. Maybe the org isn't confident that Lindor will be ready by May/June. I would try to get Gattis though. Cheap RH power, highest SP of the Braves regulars this past season, can backup catch in a pinch, could probably handle RF, destroys lefties while carrying a near .800 OPS against RHPs. Controllable through '18. Wouldn't even need to platoon him, if he can handle RF (questionable), just stick him out there. If he needs to be in LF just move Brantley to RF & put Gattis in LF.
October 23, 2014 - 7:24 AM EDT
This move is further indication the Indians have no interest in spending money to improve this team. Aviles is just another of the many fringe type utility players on this roster. Aviles has no upside and he will simply further the adage "if you do the same thing over and will get the same results. Dolan and Antonetti need to rid the roster of these unproductive players. Guys like Giambi,Murphy,Chisenhall and Aviles cannot hit and have no upside. This team has wasted a good amount of good pitching for the last three years because they cannot score runs consistently. Unless the Front Office FINALLY makes some bold moves and brings in a so sorely needed middle of the order hitter...look for the same offensive futility next season and more wasted pitching if we are fortunate to get good pitching again.
October 23, 2014 - 6:58 AM EDT
Personally, I think they view Ramirez as more than an utility "guy".

October 23, 2014 - 5:25 AM EDT
This move almost certainly relegates Lindor to start the season at AAA. Jose Rameriez seem to be capable of filling the role of utility guy. There was no need to renew his contract. Not to mention that Jose is available at $500,000.00; that is a good savings. The money could have been used to sign a free agent. You cut 3 mill here and 2 mill there and soon you have more cash available.

The Indians are stuck with the fact that Lindor may be the only blue chip position above A ball. The rest are possible players, but you have to go down to Lake county before another appears and that is Frazier.

I don't like the move.
October 23, 2014 - 4:14 AM EDT
Yes, teams will be falling over themselves to trade for Aviles for the privilege of paying him $3.5MM.Aviles was a -0.3 fWAR player last season and will be 34 on opening day. I'd be surprised if he could even command $2MM in free agency.

Given that Lindor will almost certainly be up some time in the first half of the season, picking up that $3.5MM option is just flushing (scarce) cash down the swanny. If Tito really needed Aviles back as a safety blanket then they could simply decline the option and re-sign him as a free agent for less cash.
C L Who
October 23, 2014 - 2:11 AM EDT
Ok with me. Now let's trade him ASAP.

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