Two weeks after being traded to the Blue Jays in the deal that sent manager John Farrell to the Red Sox, Mike Aviles is on the move again.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Blue Jays have shipped Aviles and utility man Yan Gomes to the Indians in exchange for right-hander Esmil Rogers.
Aviles, who turns 32 next March, batted .250/.282/.381 with 13 home runs, 60 RBI and a .663 OPS in 136 games this season for the Red Sox. He earned $1.2 million in 2012 and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter.
The Indians already have Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis as starters at shortstop and second base respectively, so Aviles could be in the mix at third base or as a backup infielder. It helps that he’s right-handed, as the Indians batted just .234/.312/.352 with a .664 OPS against southpaws this season. Aviles has a .797 career OPS against left-handed pitching.
Gomes, 25, batted .204/.264/.367 with four home runs, 13 RBI and a .631 OPS in 43 games with the Blue Jays this season while making starts at first base, third base, left field and behind the plate. The Brazil native could provide some versatility off the bench and some pop from the right side of the plate.
Rogers began this season with the Rockies, but posted a brutal 8.06 ERA over his first 23 appearances before being traded to the Indians in June. The 27-year-old was quietly very effective with his new club, compiling a 3.06 ERA and 54/12 K/BB ratio over 53 innings. The hard-throwing right-hander has experience as a starter, but it looks like he has found his niche out of the bullpen.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.