With Terry Francona now in the fold, the Indians were expected to be aggressive this offseason and make some moves to improve the ballclub. On Saturday, they added some experienced infield depth by trading Esmil Rogers to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles and Triple-A player Yan Gomes.
Aviles, 31, has 478 games of Major League experience under his belt, having played second base, third base, shortstop, and a handful of appearances in the outfield with Boston in 2011. Aviles has a career slash line of .277/.308/.408/.715. Aviles hit 13 home runs for Boston in 2011 over 136 games, a career high. Gomes, 25, has batted .287/.344/.484/.828 in 301 minor league games. A lot of his damage has come in the offense-friendly Pacific Coast League with the Las Vegas 51's. Gomes batted .204 in 98 at bats with the Blue Jays this past season.
The Indians picked up Esmil Rogers from the Colorado Rockies in June via trade. The Indians gave the Rockies cash considerations to complete the deal. Rogers made 44 appearances for the Indians, posting a 3.09 ERA and striking out 54 batters in 53 innings. The emergence of 2011 draft pick Cody Allen made Rogers expendable. Also, the Indians may have sold high on Rogers, who is still a bit of an unknown. He struggled in Colorado, posting a 6.77 ERA in 70 appearances, but, pitchers obviously have difficult conditions to deal with in the high altitude.
Overall, the Indians got some insurance behind Asdrubal Cabrera, who has worn down late in the season the last couple of years. Aviles also gives the Indians a right-handed option, with a career .295 average and a .797 OPS against left handers.
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