Mike Aviles, Indians avoid arbitration with two-year deal

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Cleveland has avoided arbitration with Mike Aviles by signing the infielder to a two-year deal that includes an option for 2015, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Aviles was traded twice this offseason, going from the Red Sox to the Blue Jays as compensation for manager John Farrell and then going from the Blue Jays to the Indians for Esmil Rogers.

Aviles was basically an everyday player for the Red Sox last season, but hit just .250 with a .663 OPS in 136 games and is slated to be a utility man in Cleveland at age 31. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the two-year deal is worth $6 million.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.