The Cleveland Indians have acquired infielder Mike Aviles and utility man Yan Gomes from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for relief pitcher Esmil Rogers in a trade announced yesterday afternoon. It’s the second stop for Aviles in the same offseason, as he was originally part of the compensation package awarded to Toronto after losing manager John Farrell to Cleveland.
In Rogers, 27, the Blue Jays have a useful arm to add to their middle relief corps for the 2013 season. After spending most of his career with the Rockies, the right-hander really turned the corner in Cleveland last season by 53 strong innings out of the bullpen — he struck out more than a batter per inning, walked just two men per nine, and racked up nearly a full win per FanGraphs data.
Aviles, a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2008 when he posted an .833 OPS, has seen some success at the game’s highest level, but has leveled off as a useful defensive infielder with occasional pop and very little plate discipline. Aviles will be 32 before the start of play in 2013, so while he isn’t going to get any better, he’s a solid bench option for the Indians if nothing else.
Gomes, the youngest player included in the deal at the age of 25, has shown some power in over 1,000 minor league at-bats (.484 SLG), but struggled noticeably in his first taste of big league action a season ago. The former 10th-round draft pick in the 2009 draft played first, third, left, and even caught a little for the Blue Jays in 2012, so his versatility makes him an intriguing talent. Should his bat develop further, he, too, could provide the Indians with a very useful bench player.