Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Jose Ramirez is my preferred choice to replace Aviles. Ramirez is only 23 years old, and he brings a unique skill-set to the Indians. The switch-hitter is a menace on the base paths, and he accumulated most of his value through speed and defense. This toolbox should keep him cheap through the arbitration process, for which he will not be eligible next year.
Also, Ramirez would be superior with the bat to Aviles. Last season, Ramirez slashed a pitiful .219/.291/.340, but I believe that a .263 batting average – which in turn yields a .335 on-base percentage – is much more representative of his batted ball distribution. This would easily boost his wRC+ upwards towards the league average, as his slugging percentage would land somewhere in the range of .410.
A bat with such a skill set would make Ramirez a valuable utility man, as he can play second base, shortstop, third base, and all three of the outfield positions. Arguably, he could become an everyday player instead of serving in a backup role like Aviles. Should this be the case, there is another option for the team.
Could a free agent replace Aviles?
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