Discussion: Mike Aviles

Following a promising 2008 campaign in which he hit .325/.354/.480 and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting, Mike Aviles underwent Tommy John surgery last year. Now that he's playing again and working his way toward full health, a note in ESPN.com's Rumor Central (Insider only) speculates that he could become trade bait for Kansas City.

The Royals' incumbent starter at shortstop, a position where Aviles posted a +31.6 UZR/150 in 2008, is Yuniesky Betancourt. Aviles offers more upside than Betancourt, who displayed little value with the bat (.245/.274/.351) or the glove (-23.9 UZR/150) last season. However, Aviles' recovery from arm surgery has necessitated at least a temporary move to second base, where he'll compete for playing time with Alberto Callaspo and Chris Getz.

Presumably, the Royals are hoping Aviles builds up the arm strength needed for throwing across the diamond, taking away some of Betancourt's playing time at shortstop. Even so, the Royals may end up having more middle infield depth than they need, and GM Dayton Moore could consider moving Aviles or perhaps Callaspo, who was the subject of trade rumors earlier in the winter.

Are there any teams you see as a possible match for Kansas City? If you're a Royals fan, how would you like to see the club handle their potential middle infield surplus?

52 Responses to Discussion: Mike Aviles Leave a Reply

  1. dro1202 5 years ago

    Mets should deffinitley look into this… what would it take?

    • Guest 5 years ago

      The thing about Callaspo, is he could probably bring the Royals what they need for the long term. For example,

      The Royals need a young outfielder so when Rick Ankiel and Pods are gone they have a young guy to use long term.

      Tyler Colvin
      Chris Dickerson
      Trayvon Robinson
      Daryl Jones
      Corey Wimberly
      Ben Revere

      Those are all players whom there respective teams would give for Callaspo. Ben Revere is a big if but if the Royals got a handle on Tyler Colvin, they could give him some seasoning in the minors, and when he is ready, trade Rick Ankiel mid-season.

  2. Mets should deffinitley look into this… what would it take?

    • diehardmets 5 years ago

      I thought the exact same thing. If there competing down the strech and Aviles looks healthy, he could be a real upgrade over Castillo. Also, if Reyes is out (which seems unlikely) for an extended period of time, he could fill in there. Problem is that Tejada seems to be coming up fast and if 2B is blocked then he has no where to play.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Did I hear an echo?

  3. twenty1thirteen 5 years ago

    Here’s to hoping Aviles regains his ground, and Betancourt is released. Doubtful, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

      That would be the best thing. I’m just wondering how many shortstops have had TJ surgery. And were they able to play everyday? I’m only coming up with Shin Soo Choo and Xavier Nady-and they are outfielders. Choo’s had no problems; Nady’s on his second go round, and he still isn’t completely recovered.

      Aviles was, and still is, one of those guys it’s easy to root for. I hope he does return and is able to play shortstop.

    • dproyls 5 years ago

      That is what I am hoping for. Keep Aviles and Callaspo, get rid of Betancourt..please

  4. baseball1 5 years ago

    I would love to see the Orioles pick him up, although I don’t see why the Royals would let him go. Also the Pirates would be a decent team to take a flyer on him

  5. JTrea81 5 years ago

    I’d love to see the Orioles go after Aviles as a short term fill in for Brian Roberts and also a possible long term solution for SS when Roberts is healthy.

  6. Let’s see, who to get rid of…who to get rid of?

    Betancourt, even considering the $1M Seattle sent with him to KC, costs more than Getz, Callaspo, and Aviles combined. He is also easily the worst of the four.

    Hmmm…who to get rid of…who to get rid of? I just can’t figure this one out.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Not only is Betancourt and Callaspo the worst up the middle infield in Baseball, but A Getz and Aviles middle infield doesn’t sound that bad.

      I’d keep Aviles and do whatever I can to shop Betancourt or Callaspo if I’m Dayton Moore.

  7. nakgxf 5 years ago

    I’m a Royals fan praying that I see Aviles starting at SS and Callaspo or Getz at 2B by the end of the year. Yuni is absolutely Yuseless, and even Aviles has a far better chance of being the long-term SS in KC.

  8. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    umm…this guy isn’t a free agent just FYI and i doubt they will get rid of him after he hit .325 in his ROOKIE YEAR. this guy is a stud who had a little bit of bad luck.

    but here’s the thing, he isn’t a pitcher. so TJ surjery won’t affect him nearly as much.

  9. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    It should be noted that Aviles had much more poor numbers in 2009 before he had the surgery:

    ·36 games played
    ·120 at bats
    ·22 hits
    ·Quad slash line of .183/.208/.250/.458. He doesn’t seem to walk much, but doesn’t strike out much either.

    I doubt an elbow injury would have accounted for such poor numbers over 1½ months [he wouldn’t have played with torn ligaments]. Also, since MLBTR likes to use UZR/150 Aviles was -2.7 in 2009.

    It looks like if KCR wanted to trade him, it wouldn’t take anything more than a B- prospect or steady bullpen arm.

    • Luke Adams 5 years ago

      Aviles has mentioned that the elbow started bothering him in spring training last year, so it’s probably at least in part to blame for his awful 2009 numbers. Of course, I wouldn’t expect a repeat of his 2008 numbers when he’s healthy either — his BABIP was quite high, and his career minor league stats were lower across the board.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Oh did he complain about it? Then I take that part back. You’re right though to expect regression, but if he was experiencing elbow pain that would account for the severe dropoff.

    • grant77 5 years ago

      Brian Tallet?

      • briantalletsmoustache 5 years ago

        You’re funny.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          They can have Brian Tallet, but we keep the ‘stache. Tallet with the ‘stach would be a steal for the Royals.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Haha Brian Tallet isn’t very steady. Steady to me = 3.50ERA 1.30WHIP et al. Besides, the Jays have Hechevarria, and Wells ain’t going nowhere.

        • jdub220 5 years ago

          Hechevarria isn’t major league ready. And what does Wells have to do with it? He isn’t a middle infielder. Do you mean Aaron Hill?

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

            Nope. It’s believed that Hechevarria could be a CF, hence move Wells and then if that joked up Tallet/Aviles trade happened, slide him into SS. Besides, Hill is a 2B :/

          • jdub220 5 years ago

            I know Hill is a 2B. We were talking about Aviles, who also can be a 2B.

  10. I don’t know that anyone expects Aviles to repeat his rookie campaign, but it’s hard to imagine him being worse than Betancourt if healthy. Getz has been getting a little time at short this spring. If anyone gets jettisoned, I’d like for it to be Yuni “I’m Better than Tony Pena Jr.” Betancourt. Let Getz and Aviles handle second and short, with Callaspo sharing time at second occasionally and splitting time with Josh Fields at third until Alex Gordon comes back.

    Can’t get anyone to give offer a bag of baseballs in exchange for Betancourt? Then release him.

    • BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

      you can have either the bag or the baseballs for him. not both.

  11. kcnerd 5 years ago

    Why hold on to so many players up the middle with mediocre upside. If Aviles has trade value then get a pitching prospect an move on.

    • rootman1010 5 years ago

      and that’s why you’re not a GM…

      • kcnerd 5 years ago

        so make an argument.
        Aviles has gotten better in everyone’s eye’s because we haven’t seen him in a year. Bench player who had a good year. Jump on the trade value.

  12. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    The Pirates could probably get away trading Gorkys Hernandez for Mike Aviles, seeing how Hernandez has a low OBP and is a former Braves’ farmhand. 😉

  13. bbxxj 5 years ago

    If someone were to ask me: “What full time starter in the bigs would add the most value to his team by being replaced by a replacement level or above player?” I would say, “Thats easy, Yuniesky Betancourt”.

    Now I’m not sure Aviles is the long term answer at SS because his ‘breakout’ season was aided by a bloated BABIP much higher than any of his other full seasons in the high minors and a low 4.1% walk rate hurts his value as a tablesetter type, but he has the ability to make less outs, hit for more power, and play better defense than Betancourt. I think that KC should keep testing Getz at SS to see if his slick glove at 2B will translate to SS so Aviles can move to 2B.

    If I were running things, I would dangle Callaspo and his .800+ OPS and sold 3B glove for a slick fielding and perhaps light fielding SS. I am thinking of someone along the lines of Paul Janish as a minimum or using some of that minor league pitching depth to get a real long term SS like Reid Brignac. Janish or Brignac may or may not be available for Callaspo/young pitching but someone like those two could very well be had for a package KC could offer.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      actually brignac makes a lot of sense. Callaspo can be the backup DH when/if burrell falls apart again. and he can play a little second if they have to move Zobrist over to RF if they trade crawford and have the shift on.

      • $1526717 5 years ago

        I’m not sure I see the Rays making that deal, but as a Royals fan I’d approve.

        I like Callaspo, but he doesn’t seem to have a spot on this team despite the fact he’s probably their fourth best hitter, maybe even 3rd or 2nd.

  14. If I’m the Mets I would love a trade for Callaspo. In the offseason I was thinking of a Angel Pagan/Alberto Castillo swap which made sense because KC needed a CF but Pagan is a big part of the team now with Beltran gone.

    I’m not sure what it would take to get done, but I’d really love a deal.

  15. bannister19 5 years ago

    I don’t think he will be traded. His lack of success last year before surgery and his out of no where blossom already leaves him with little trade value as it is. His weak arm at the moment does not help that.

    What you need to remember is that he’s barely half way through Tommy John, when it normally takes 12 months to recover, so his arm is not at full strength. However, they are hoping by around May he should be good to play short. He’s had a very nice spring, he’s done solid from Second. Unless Betancourt has an up-season, I don’t see him keeping the job with a rookie-like Aviles. Nor do I see us getting much in return for him that can help us contend in 2010 nor 2011. Nor is he a financial liability.

    Betancourt doing good is almost impossible. Jeff Bianchi is out for the entire season. Mike Moustakes was moved to third base. The Royals at Short are just as bad as the Jays, if not worse. Mario Lisson is the closest thing to somebody who can play short that is around our system, and his avg 284 OBP / 222 avg / 638 OPS the past couple of years is no help.

    Aviles is young, making league minimum, and has an upside. If the Royals plan to contend in 2010, 2011, and even 2012, one of the weakest positions we have, and where there is nothing in near sight is Short-stop. We have good prospects just about elsewhere. RHPs and LHPs, C, DH, 1B, 3B, OF..we have a nice supply of 2Bs.

    So far nothing too impressive from Fields and Getz this spring. Callapso will probably take over 3B full time until Gordon gets back with Fields getting a couple starts and some late inning subs. Getz will probably take over 2B but something is required from him to keep the job when gordon comes back. Callapso could be a trade candidate by July, but it would take impressiveness from both Gordon and Getz, and possibly Fields as well.

    At first I thought it would be worth trading him, but his defensive liability is big, and I’m not sure what return we will get. I think the Royals value Callapso more than what any other team would.

  16. bbxxj 5 years ago

    Should KC semi-concede the season with an eye towards the future and the Rays decide to go for it this year with Crawford and Pena still on the team, a trade along these lines would be mutually beneficial:



    Burrell + 6M
    Hellickson/Davis to Barnese/Lobstein

    This trade would be an even money deal as the Rays take on Soria’s 3M but the Royals take on 3M of Burrell’s deal. The motive for the Royals would be to obtain a SS of the present and future, a cheap steady innings eater for the rotation, a ‘no cost added’ option to compete with Guillen in the DH spot, and an elite to solid SP prospect to go along with it (I’ll explain that in a second) in exchange for an underutilzed valuable asset – an elite closer on a non-contending team- and a nice cost controlled bat with nowhere to play. The motive for the Rays would be to really lock down their 8th and 9th innings with Soriano/Soria as well as solve their closer hole for the next five years and add more versitility and value in thier DH/INF role with Callaspo in exchange for a blocked but very solid prospect, a starter who won’t crack a stacked rotation, DH bat that they don’t need, and an elite to solid SP prospect.

    What I mean by “Hellickson/Davis to Barnese/Lobstein” is that the teams could haggle on the level of pitching prospect exchanged in this deal from the extreme value of Davis to a solid value of Lobstein. The is no way to know how much KC and TB value the players mentioned in the deal so I could see this spot going any direction along the talent scale. Is Soria really worth an elite SP prospect like Davis or is just one real prospect prize in Brignac enough to get an elite closer like Soria who is locked up for the next five years?

    • crashcameron 5 years ago

      interesting … i rosterbated something similar with DeJesus and Soria going to the Marlins
      would I do this for the Rays? yeah, with only red flags being possible loss of IF defensive depth and how much will Soria cost long-term payroll-structure-wise
      and you can be sure the Royales wll be asking for Wade Davis and his cheese

  17. abnerboonieday 5 years ago

    Release Betancourt asap. Which makes for a Happy Easter.

  18. If you’re a Royals fan …. wait a minute, how have you not shot yourself yet?
    I admire your determination, I would’ve been out at Damon and Beltran.

    The ’08 Rays – the worst thing that could’ve happened to baseball.
    Everybody thinks they have shot. Umm, no you really don’t.

    If “anybody can get hot at the end” means being the Rockies and getting
    swept by the Red Sox for a lackluster World Series, then I’m not in favor.

    Bud Selig, how did the 80’s Royals hold onto so many big time players, with
    a Kansas City population about the same. I was born in ’71, never heard
    the term ‘small market’ thrown around as an excuse.

    • jdub220 5 years ago

      The Royals’ excuse isn’t being in a small market. Their excuse is having the worst GM in baseball.

    • KC_Chris 5 years ago

      The Royals had among the highest payrolls in all of MLB until the interim ownership group took over the team in the ’90s. Kauffman was a great owner.

  19. iancahill 5 years ago

    As a Royals fan I love what Aviles represents, but unfortunately he isn’t super young, he is 29 and there is no guarantee he will be the sensation he was in 2008. That being said, Yuni is just not a Major League player and the Royals need to spend a ton of time and prob $$ to draw a SS to the team. Preferably one that isn’t 35 and on the way out…such is the way of GMDM.

  20. Guest 5 years ago

    Callaspo does need to be traded though.

  21. john1963 5 years ago

    With Polanco hurt it again underscores just how thin Philly is on infielders in the minors. If Polanco isn’t ready the thought is Dobbs/Gload would platoon with Cody ransom if Placido isn’t ready by the start of the season but what do the Phillies do if Rollins or Utley get hurt? Juan Castro? Yikes. Get Aviles and store him at AAA just in case…

  22. clrm8d 5 years ago

    One thing that could be interesting to watch this year is that apparently Yuni has an option remaining, but he would have to consent to going to the minors. However, if he rejects the assignment, he loses out on the remaining portion of his contract. Interesting…

  23. dproyls 5 years ago

    In my humble opinion they should keep Aviles and Callaspo. Put Yuni on the trading block along with Willie. Keep Maier on the ML club as a backup and send Anderson down. They will not get as much of a return for Yuni as they would for Aviles or Callaspo which is why they should keep those two…in my opinion.

    • bigmark14 5 years ago

      completely with you on this one, why trsde callaspo or aviles? They’re team controlled for 5 and 4 years respectively. Send betancourt to the minors in the hopes he refuses. an infield/DH combo of gordon, aviles, getz, callaspo, butler wouldnt be too shabby all things considered…

  24. GSports4 5 years ago

    Getz at short, Aviles at 2B, Callaspo at 3B. When Gordon gets healthy, he goes to Omaha for rehab. If he tears it up there, then we have a good problem. More than likely, by the time Gordon gets back, another team has an injury and a need, or one of the regular players in KC is not getting it done. Then we know exactly where we are and what we need to do.

  25. MDogg 5 years ago

    I like Aviles to start the season at 2B. Getz should be the backup. His defense is major league ready but his bat isn’t. He’s hitting .100 in spring training and Aviles is hitting .400+. Callaspo is the opposite, cant defend but can rake at the plate. He baffles me. I thought his move to 3B would be a perfect fit but he continues to make errors. Yuni won’t get traded because they just traded for him and they think he is awesome. I have to admit he’s the best shortstop the royals have had defensively in a while. Soooo… i like Gordon at 1B when back from broken thumb, Aviles at 2B, Yuni at SS and Callaspo at 3B with Butler as DH.

  26. mattbiggs 5 years ago

    Betencourt needs to go before Callaspo or Aviles or Getz. They all bring something to the table. Betencourt is below average at defense, speed, average and power. So what is the discussion about, it’s a no brainer? Why not try Getz at short with Aviles at second until he’s fully healed with Callaspo at 3rd (until Gordon comes back) then Dh and ?. Aviles is hitting like the Aviles of a couple years ago in spring training.

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