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Mike Aviles 2013 Outlook

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I think the guy is very underrated. Only hit .250 last year, but in this relatively steroid-free area (Granderson batted .232 and he is going top 20 in AL-only drafts), that ain't so bad. He's a .277 career hitter, and I like his potential for double-digit steals and homers. The big question: How much will he play? Indians fans, how do you read the situation?

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The signing of Aviles for two years (they could have just done one, no?) makes me wonder about the Indians' plans for the future. Below are some reads on the situation from ESPN. I think Cleveland mgmt. won't mention it, because it may damage the youngster's psyche, but they also have Aviles around just in case Chisenhall bombs (remember he lost out to the immortal Jack Hannahan last spring - and it pains me as an Irishman to say that).

"We certainly saw Mike being a good fit on the team for multiple seasons," Antonetti said on a conference call. "Once we started the negotiating process and understood that Mike had an interest in a multiyear deal as well, we worked to try to get something done."

"With no primary designated hitter currently on Cleveland's roster, Aviles could get some at-bats as DH. New manager Terry Francona has said he may use "a committee" to fill the role."

"Aviles also provides the Indians with a backup plan at short in case the club doesn't re-sign All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera, whose contract will expire after the 2014 season. Cabrera has been mentioned in trade rumors before, and it's possible the Indians could find themselves in a position to deal him with several young promising shortstops already in their system."

In Aviles's favor is the hole at DH. A possible mid-season trade of A-Cab is certainly interesting. . . .

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I think he's more of an insurance policy. Kipnis and Asdrubal are locked into the middle and Chisenhall should get his shot to show he can hit at the MLB level. I can't see Aviles getting much playing time unless an injury happens or Chisenhall falls on his face. I do like Aviles potential for a productive year. He is very underrated. Decent speed and power combo, just don't see much playing time this year. To me, he's waiver fodder to end of draft flier this year.

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I was real high on him last year...he had a full time SS gig in Boston and while he started out red hot, he faded away as the season went on. I don't think he will be much of a factor this year unless an injury strikes, and even then his numbers wont be what one hopes for.

I'm gonna pass on him this year, and had him in every league last year. I'm off the bandwagon.

Also, if he is the DH for Cleveland, then they have their own problems :)

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Thanks for the input. Icebox, most teams prefer a slugger type at DH, but I don't think a speed guy such as Aviles is such a bad option.

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Thanks for the input. Icebox, most teams prefer a slugger type at DH, but I don't think a speed guy such as Aviles is such a bad option.

I wouldn't characterize Aviles as a speed guy. He managed 14 steals but was caught 6 times. He's going to be 32 this year, so I'd expect that those numbers represent his ceiling.

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I was real high on him last year...he had a full time SS gig in Boston and while he started out red hot, he faded away as the season went on. I don't think he will be much of a factor this year unless an injury strikes, and even then his numbers wont be what one hopes for.

I'm gonna pass on him this year, and had him in every league last year. I'm off the bandwagon.

Also, if he is the DH for Cleveland, then they have their own problems :)

Yep, I was very bullish on drafting Aviles last year, and it paid off early. He hit well for the first month, but man he was not good after that. He's not a very good base-stealer either, regardless of the numbers he's put up. Bottom line is: there's not a lot of PT out there for him currently, he doesn't play strong defense consistently enough, and his skills are likely regressing a bit.

Waiver wire fodder at best....even in deep leagues. He only has SS eligibility this year, which also lessens his usefulness

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If you are in a deep league (12+ teams and MI slots) and he gets playing time, then he is worth a roster spot. But I don't think he will breakout of his career numbers and the upside isnt nearly as high as it was last year.

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The following is from an article by Matt Klaassen at FanGraphs.

"Aviles is probably about an average player, even if his fielding abilities are enigmatic and his offense is streaky. What appears to be going on, contract-wise, is Aviles got two years of guaranteed security in exchange for a third-year club option. But this is where some of the confusion begins. Aviles is better than most utility infielders, and while he is not a first tier starter, he could start for some teams. If he had a clear starting spot for Cleveland, the deal might make some sense. Cleveland, though, is set at second (Jason Kipnis), shortstop (Asdrubal Cabrera) and third (Lonnie Chisenhall). Why would the team want to guarantee multiple years to a player who is significantly older than all three of those players, and probably not as good?

Depth is nice, and having better-than-replacement players during a rebuilding phase is not simply a waste of money. But Aviles is not Nick Swisher. There is no obvious place for him to play, and he’s not as good as Swisher. It is not as if he has a lot of trade value on his own. Of course, someone could get hurt, or one of the younger guys might tank and get set to the minors. However, those a pretty typical, and would not in themselves really have justified giving a multi-year deal to Aviles.

A more intriguing possibility, as mentioned by Jordan Bastian on Twitter, is Cleveland may be looking to trade Cabrera at some point between now and the begining of the 2014 season. Cabrera is no defensive whiz, but his bat plays well at shortstop. Even at $10 million in 2014, he would be a good deal at shortstop for a contender, and thus has real trade value. Chisenhall and Kipnis, on the other hand, are players a rebuilding and Cleveland obviously wants to keep around.

Aviles is good enough to be an inexpensive stopgap during a rebuilding period if Cleveland decides to trade Cabrera. Cleveland has a couple of good shortstop prospects in Francisco Lindor and Dorssys Paulino, but neither is even 20 nor has either played above A-ball yet. How they (or some other player) develop is anyone’s guess, but by getting the club option on Aviles for 2015, Cleveland at least gets themselves a bit more risk-free security while they rebuild yet again."

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Phizzics,

14 steals is pretty good; he had the same # in far fewer at bats the previous two years. AL average was 75%, so if he had gotten 1 steal call instead of an "out" call, he would have been right at average. Ichiro and Juan Pierre are well past 32 and still swiping at a nice clip.

Might sound like I got a crush on the guy, but actually I haven't drafted him in the few mocks I've participated in.

I'm more interested in how Aviles might cut into Chienhall's playing time (hope Baltimore Boy is right that he won't, because third base is very thin in the AL and Chis is not a bad pick at around 140th overall in a 12-team AL league).

One thing the Klaassen article pointed out, which I forgot about, is that Aviles is going to be reunited with Terry Franc next year. . . .

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The following is from an article by Matt Klaassen at FanGraphs.

"Aviles is probably about an average player, even if his fielding abilities are enigmatic and his offense is streaky. What appears to be going on, contract-wise, is Aviles got two years of guaranteed security in exchange for a third-year club option. But this is where some of the confusion begins. Aviles is better than most utility infielders, and while he is not a first tier starter, he could start for some teams. If he had a clear starting spot for Cleveland, the deal might make some sense. Cleveland, though, is set at second (Jason Kipnis), shortstop (Asdrubal Cabrera) and third (Lonnie Chisenhall). Why would the team want to guarantee multiple years to a player who is significantly older than all three of those players, and probably not as good?

Depth is nice, and having better-than-replacement players during a rebuilding phase is not simply a waste of money. But Aviles is not Nick Swisher. There is no obvious place for him to play, and he's not as good as Swisher. It is not as if he has a lot of trade value on his own. Of course, someone could get hurt, or one of the younger guys might tank and get set to the minors. However, those a pretty typical, and would not in themselves really have justified giving a multi-year deal to Aviles.

A more intriguing possibility, as mentioned by Jordan Bastian on Twitter, is Cleveland may be looking to trade Cabrera at some point between now and the begining of the 2014 season. Cabrera is no defensive whiz, but his bat plays well at shortstop. Even at $10 million in 2014, he would be a good deal at shortstop for a contender, and thus has real trade value. Chisenhall and Kipnis, on the other hand, are players a rebuilding and Cleveland obviously wants to keep around.

Aviles is good enough to be an inexpensive stopgap during a rebuilding period if Cleveland decides to trade Cabrera. Cleveland has a couple of good shortstop prospects in Francisco Lindor and Dorssys Paulino, but neither is even 20 nor has either played above A-ball yet. How they (or some other player) develop is anyone's guess, but by getting the club option on Aviles for 2015, Cleveland at least gets themselves a bit more risk-free security while they rebuild yet again."

I think the Indians thought they were on the brink of dealing A.Cabrera plus for J.Upton when they signed Aviles and didn't want him to sign elsewhere. They would have slotted him at SS. Just conjecture on my part ... no hard evidence.

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I imagine he'll be in platoons at DH and 3B. Maybe play some 3B for Chisenhall against lefties. Maybe he'll get some starts at DH against lefties as well. Aviles has a sub .300 OBP the last few seasons, so giving him everyday DH at-bats wouldn't make sense, and he's been absolutely terrible versus righties the last couple years.

Seems like Cleveland wants to keep the DH spot fairly flexible. They'll probably give Santana ABs at DH when he isn't catching since he's one of their better hitters. Aviles will probably get about three starts a week I'd guess, which would make him tough to own.

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Is he a worth a pick up in deeper leagues with Chisenhall out? Reynolds is starting at 3rd today... wonder what Francona's plan is.. Anyone else taking a chance?

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I was wondering the same thing. I picked him up today but unfortunately he's not even starting (No DH in Cinci). I like him going forward though in deeper roto leagues.

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Still not even close to regular PT, correct?

don't think so, i think he's just the utility man on that squad at this point.

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Still not even close to regular PT, correct?

Looks like he's in for regular PT for now, while Cabrera's on the shelf, according to Rotoworld.

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where do we expect him to bat? I've heard Brantley will go in the 3 hole. So I'm thinking

Bourn

Kipnis

Brantley

Swisher

Reynolds

Santana

Giambi/Gomes (Gomes if Santana is the DH, Giambi if Santana is catching)

Aviles

Stubbs

Still a pretty stacked team. I think they like Stubbs at 9 but regardless Aviles will be in the bottom third. If Brantley busts (they moved him around a lot during Bourn's DL stint) Kipnis will move to 3 and Aviles could hit 2nd but this looks like the most likely arrangement for now

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I'm guessing he'll bat higher against lefties, like he did tonight.

I think it was because Kipnis wasn't playing and the Indians seem to love their roles, hence why he was slotted into the 2 hole

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