The Cleveland Indians are expected to pick up a $3.5-million-dollar option on utility player Mike Aviles for the 2015 season, though the team won’t make an official announcement until after the World Series.
The Cleveland Indians are expected to exercise their $3.5-million team option on utility player Mike Aviles, which will keep Aviles in Cleveland for the 2015 season, although the team likely won’t announce anything until after the World Series.
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The decision on Aviles’ option isn’t a total surprise, as despite a worse season across the board in 2014, he’s still been a reliable and flexible backup on manager Terry Francona’s bench since the Indians traded for him before the 2013 season. Aviles is primarily a middle infielder, but he played all three outfield positions as well last season, and his versatility was valued by Francona.
Aviles began the season as part of a platoon at third base before Lonnie Chisenhall took over the job full-time, and also played extensively at second base while Jason Kipnis was on the disabled list for part of the season. When center fielder Michael Bourn missed time, left fielder Michael Brantley would usually shift over to center, and Aviles would often get the start in left. He also was often a defensive replacement at shortstop when needed.
The decision on Aviles’s option was one of the few roster decisions Cleveland needed to make entering the offseason, although the Indians are expected to make at least a couple moves this offseason. Aviles was acquired with catcher Yan Gomes from the Toronto Blue Jays in one of general manager Chris Antonetti’s greatest heists, in exchange for relief pitcher Esmil Rogers. The only other pending free agent for Cleveland is designated hitter Jason Giambi, who is MLB‘s oldest player at 43, and could consider retirement after mostly being used as a player-coach for the Indians for the past two seasons.
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