On Saturday, November 3 the Cleveland Indians announced they had acquired infielder Mike Aviles and catcher/infielder Yan Gomes from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Esmil Rogers.
Aviles appeared in 136 games last season with the Boston Red Sox where he batted .250 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs. He was recently traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on October 21, 2012 in the deal that sent Manager John Farrell to Boston. He is a career .277 hitter in 1,761 at bats with 39 home runs and 190 RBIs.
Gomes spent the majority of the 2012 campaign with Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas where he batted .328 with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs in 79 games. He made his Major League debut on May 12, 3012 versus the New York Yankees making him the first Brazilian-born player to reach the Major League level.
The Indians purchased the contract of Rogers on June 12, 2012 from the Colorado Rockies. In 44 games with Cleveland this season, Rogers posted a 3-1 record paired with a 3.06 ERA. He allowed 47 hits, struck out 54, and walked just 12 batters in 53 innings pitched.
In Aviles the Indians have added depth in the infield and a much-needed right-handed hitter as they struggled against left-handed pitching last season. Cleveland also did not have a reliable backup to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Aviles fills two needs with Cleveland in that aspect.
To make an even greater stretch, Aviles is a starting-caliber shortstop potentially making Cabrera available if the right trade comes along. Cleveland desperately needs starting pitching, a first baseman, and a left fielder. Knowing Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Perez, and Cabrera are available could have a few general managers interested in talking deals with Chris Antonetti.
Cleveland certainly has its work cut out for them this offseason. A complete overhaul of the team in needed while keeping its young core in place and remain competitive or run the risk of losing even more of the fan base. This minor deal may just be a glimpse of what is yet to come.
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Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados.