The Tigers have announced a deal to acquire shortstop Erick Aybar from the Braves. Headed in return to Atlanta are infielder Mike Aviles and catcher Kade Scivicque. Detroit will receive cash in the deal, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). Tigers GM Al Avila declined to discuss details, but did offer that “it’s pretty even” in terms of the salaries involved, MLB.com’s Jason Beck tweets.
Detroit made the move with its two starters on the left side of the infield — shortstop Jose Iglesias and third baseman Nick Castellanos — currently parked on the DL. Adding Aybar will presumably provide an option at both positions, though he has played almost exclusively up the middle over his 11-year career.
[Related: Updated Tigers Depth Chart]
Aybar, 32, was picked up by the Braves in last winter’s Andrelton Simmons deal. Presumably, the club hoped he’d provide a steady option that might turn into a trade chip, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. After an abysmal start to the season and some injury issues, the veteran has actually been rather productive of late.
Things began to turn around in June, when Aybar slashed .302/.393/.396 upon his return from the DL. Though he dipped a bit in July, he is putting up a strong .333/.333/.519 batting line over 54 plate appearances thus far in August. The overall results aren’t pretty, and defensive metrics are also down on Aybar’s glovework, but Detroit is understandably focused on near-term performance in bolstering its roster for the stretch run. With Aybar set to hit the open market after the season, he’s a pure rental.
The Braves appear to have sent a fairly significant amount of cash to facilitate the swap. Aybar was earning $8.5MM this year, while Aviles is playing on a $2MM deal. With about $2.18MM still owed to the former and around $517K to go for the latter, Atlanta would have needed to send around $1.5MM to make up the difference.
It’s tough to view the inclusion of Aviles as much more than a salary-balancing tactic, though he’ll presumably bolster the infield depth and provide a veteran presence for the rebuilding Braves. He had been relied upon rather heavily by the Tigers in June and July, but generally hasn’t produced in his age-35 campaign. Overall, Aviles owns a .210/.258/.269 slash over 181 plate appearances.
The key to the deal from the Braves’ side is the addition of the 23-year-old Scivicque, who was taken in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. He has spent the entire year at the High-A level, posting a .282/.325/.380 batting line with six home runs. Still, he was recently rated the 20th-best prospect in a thin Tigers system by MLB.com, which credited his strong receiving skills while noting that he may not have enough bat to profile as more than a back-up in the majors.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Aviles has been god awful, so Aybar should represent a decent upgrade
I really sorry for you if you think aybar is an upgrade over anybody. One decent month brought his avg up above .200 but his defense is soooo bad. Almost as bad as Pierzynski
No joke. Who will AUSMUS put in to pinch hit so they can pop up to first?
R u Kidding me??? Too Much for Aybar
Was he claimed or did he clear
Yes, because dumping Aviles for Aybar will close that gap behind Cleveland.
He’ll be a better option than Dixon Machado in the near-term until Iglesias returns. And he’s a much better bench option than Aviles. And he’s good depth at 3B until Nick returns as well.
But we really need a SP to get Anibal out of the rotation. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d rather have Mike Pelfrey in there than him
Will you settle for Zimmermann? My worry is that Pelfrey will bump Norris.
God I hope that doesn’t happen. Sanchez needs to leave ASAP. Norris is much better. Zimmermann is the key if the Tigers are to make the playoffs.
How bout Anibal? Oh yeah…fair weather wherever you’re at…
Not by himself, but he is an improvement over Aviles.
Anything more than a bag of balls is a win for the Braves….
Beats that Release Player thought that Steve Adams ended chat with today.
I literally came here to just say that. I was reading the chat & saw how easily the question was just dismissed as of their was no chance in the world it could happen.
That is one thing that rubs me wrong about this site sometimes. It’s almost as though it’s a cool kids club & as long as a writer or commenter says something arrogantly then it has to be truth, but if you happen to post something that people don’t agree with you on, you will get buried alive.
I simply threw out a mock lineup last night on the NL west article posted about “how intriguing” a Padres lineup could look next year with the addition of 4 guys currently hitting over .300 at AAA El Paso under the age of 26. Coupled that with Alex Dickerson who the article was focused on, All-Star Wil Myers, Solarte & Schimpf and I was grilled by a couple of commenters about it.
As someone usually on the other side of the “cool kids club” (love that term), I wholeheartedly agree. People on here forget that everything on this site is just an opinion of someone that is really not in the inner circle. Those opinions are not dogma, and they should not be treated as such. But that’s okay because the writer’s opinions are generally well thought out and relatively unbiased. As far as some commenters, well let’s just say they are just mean, but they are still fun to argue with sometimes.
Agreed to both comments gentlemen. Yes some of the questions do get dismissed at times. But I am sure answering questions about improving the worst team in baseball is probably not too exciting, so I can see that. But Erick AYBAR has improved each month (his usual progression every year) and brought back what was expected.
And yes Ray Ray, some of the people on here have no gentlemanly manner, they appreciate bashing others without concern, I think we all know who they are. You know, the ones that get banned from here are quite entertaining and the ones that should get banned are tiring. I got bashed for months about the notion of the Braves brining in Kemp on a trade. I think that trade made by Coppy was phenomenal. We got a power bat and far cheaper (all the math included) than a FA bat.
But this site is all opinion, appreciate the respect that most have shown through this site, helps to make up for the rest.
Did you happen to catch Matt Kemp in left field tonight? Yikes. Not sure a rebuilding club shelling out $25 mil for that is a smart deal.
LOL…Aybar has been doing some better recently, but even the Wall Street Journal recognized how horrible he was a month ago.
Pretty clever LOL. All jokes aside, Aybar should be way better than Aviles. Back in his Angels heyday, Aybar was pretty good, always played well vs Detroit.
WSJ? Pretty sad that such an astute source could be so wrong and yet resourced here.
Historically Aybar starts every season slow and then progresses into a better hitter, just as he did this year. He raised his trade value at the right time.
To generate some fan interest, the Braves are putting together an all utility player starting lineup so they can randomly switch positions throughout games.
Nope. Just called up top prospect Dansby Swanson to play SS
Right now, there is no guarantee that he doesn’t become a utility player as well.
This move is only immensely confusing in that the Tigers waited until their season is shot to accept that Mike Aviles is not a Major League Baseball player and make a corresponding move to replace him.
Really? Two games out of the post season is a season shot? Still it did take a while to remove Aviles from the roster. Could this mean Iglesias will be out longer than expected?
Instagram has the Braves calling up Swanson tomorrow.
I’m also shocked the Braves picked up Kade Scivicque who will probably never be a star, but was much more than I ever expect to receive for Aybar after his horrible start.
The catcher in the trade is the Tigers #20 prospect. Farrell, the #21, was just released. Nothing to get excited about.
Like I said Scivicque is much more than I expected to receive after Aybar’s horrible start to the season. Overall catcher is probably the worst position up and down the Braves minor league system and he probably (unfortunately) slots in as the best catcher in the minors for the Braves now.
That depends on the development of Cumberland.. If his defense catches his offense ^ he is the best catching prospect in the Braves system..
You should look into the system further. He’ll rate roughly 8th among Braves catchers. The catching position is actually very deep, though not at AAA, so you likely aren’t aware if you’re only tracking stats and/or prospect lists.
No offense taken Benjamin Chase, but I actually end up checking multiple scouting reports, prospect reviews, minor league recaps and minor league reports daily on each of the braves farm clubs. As well as probably well over 20 box scores most days from clubs throughout the minor leagues (of various systems). The truth is I’m disabled and often (dependent on how I feel that day) have a lot of time to surf off and on looking at things that interest me. Even though I’m fairly versed on most minor league players (including video on several) the truth is that I’m relying on multiple sources instead of actually seeing things first hand so I will readily admit that I’m not perfect. Even pro scouts often disagree somewhat about prospects.
I made sure I said ‘probably” in my post because in the Braves organization none of the catching prospects really stand out. You have the older guys who are really past prospect age but experienced in AAA. But all the guys who are catching in the Braves organization have flaws in their game.
AAA: Kottaras, Lalli, Pachecho (dl), and Schlehuber (dl). enough said
AA: Willians Austdillio: 24 years old, almost never strikes out (10 k’s in 280 plate appearances, but walks less than that (only 5 bb!). decent hitter but with no power, no speed, and below average defensively by almost all accounts.
Joseph Odum: 24 years old, fairly recently promoted from high A Carolina, has decent stick, decent power, Consistently hit left handers at a much higher rate. By most accounts average defensively but has had issues throwing out runners in AA since his promotion.
High A: Sal Giardina: 24 years old switch hitter, So far has been pretty mediocre across the board. walk rates are lower than you like with roughly 25% strike out rate. Not much power production (doubles or homers) and has played some first base this year. Decent arm.
Tanner Murphy: 21 years old. has struggled with the average this year, but has been adept at drawing walks In my opinion he is still raw on the defensive side.
Isaias Tejeda: 24 years old who hasn’t really excelled at anything in my opinion and only caught one game this year while playing first base almost exclusively in the limited time he has played. Despite being a right handed hitter has hit significantly better against right handed pitching including all 4 of his homers.
Low A: Carlos Castro: 22 years old, low average, above average power, low walk rates and high strike out rates. A work in progress defensively but has made progress over his career.
Lucas Herbert 19 years old(currently #27 on mlb prospect list for the braves farm system) Hasn’t adjusted well to hitting at Rome as hoped (but is well below average age). Walk rates are low and strike out rates are high echoing the opinion that he may struggle with the bat from his predraft reports last year. He does have an excellent arm and defense at this point is still his forte. I look for him to repeat at Rome next season.
Jonathan Morales: 21 years old, Hit really well last season with some pop in the gulf coast league but is only hitting .269 this season and hasn’t showed as much homerun power but has increased his doubles rate slightly. GREAT at catching baserunners. This kid has some potential for sure in my opinion.
Wigberto Nevarez (dl) 25 years old, . Not much power, hitting below the mendoza line, strikes out frequently, has played more first base than catcher despite having an above average arm.
advanced rookie league: Brett Cumberland: 21 switch hitter. I have to say that I did like this draft pick this year, but so far Cumberland hasn’t adjusted to pro ball as well as was hoped for. He hasn’t shown the power, hit for average, walked enough or maintained a good strikeout rate. He had an excellent college career and showed fair power in college. His defense was thought to need work and nothing has changed that. The good news however is that no way should he be written off after such a small sample size (28 games catching and 9 as DH). He may pan out as a hit first catcher he just hasn’t adjusted to pro ball yet, but he hasn’t done anything to stand out either.
Trey Keegan: 23 very limited playing time with only 15 games and 41 at bats. 14th round draft pick from Bowling Green State.
Carlos Martinez: 21, limited playing time but so far this year. Former international free agent from Columbia who started playing in 2013 has not shown much power at all. Seldom walks or strike outs but below average hitter so far. Good arm, but defense still raw.
Basically the GCL and DSL guys I will lump together: as still raw (really hard to get much info on them) but I will say that William Contreras (18) appears to be an above average hitter with average walk rates and strike out rates. Collin Yelich is currently struggling with the bat (and yes his brother is Christian Yelich). None of the DSL guys are hitting right now but in truth all the guys in GCL and DSL are young and raw.
Now that is basically the catcher situation for the Braves organization in a brief form. Kade Scivicque may not be showing up on the mlb top prospect list right now for the Braves but I feel that in my opinion he rates higher than Herbert does, and even higher than Cumberland. Scivicque had a storied career at LSU and even made the all tourney College World Series team his senior year. Does he posses any above average tools? No he doesn’t. But he has so far met the challenges and demonstrated the ability to succeed. I’d like to see him walk more frequently and continue to work on his defense because he certainly isn’t the perfect prospect (even at catcher which is terribly weak across almost all the minor leagues at the moment). My opinion means little but if I was going to rate the top catcher prospects in the braves organization right now I’d put Scivicque at the top, followed by Cumberland, Morales and Herbert (whose stock is falling by many counts and the chance he washes out is rising…although please don’t expect that for a few years). Overall it is a WEAK position in the Braves organization.
Well stated as always Southi.
Atlanta Braves Fan 4 Life
The Braves received a catching prospect in the deal not bad. Coppy did a good job even if Kade doesn’t turn out to be much it’s a least possible he does develop into something. Most of our catcher seem to be hitting .200 under in the minors i.e. T Murph and Herb Lucas struggling.
Atlanta Braves Fan 4 Life
Looking forward to watching Dansby play. A little surprised he skipped Gwinnett but excited just the same. Go Braves!!!!
Tigers supposedly have a crappy farm system, yet some of their former prospects become notable once moved: Thompson (Philly), Adames (TB). Perhaps these players were good in the Detroit system, but the ‘prospect experts’ didn’t notice.
Yes, it seems to take a trade for the experts to notice Detroit’s prospects. Just not as much media hype as Boston and New York.
good for aybar to be back in a playoff chase.
When it comes to trades, the Braves usually get the best of the Tigers. However, this looks like a Tiger win.
Getting any return for Aybar at this point would be considered a win for Atlanta. They’ve been trying to move him for months now.
I’d say the Tigers won the last trade as well–acquiring Maybin who’s been a catalyst whenever he’s healthy in the Tigers lineup
I’d believe the braves are quite happy with Ian Krol’s production this season and don’t forget that Gabe Speier (who was also acquired from the Tigers in that trade) was dealt along with Shelby Miller for Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and Dansby Swanon. I know that the Braves are undoubtedly happy how that all has transpired!
Total nitpick, but if Aybar is owed ~2MM and Aviles is owed ~0.5MM the rest of the way, then shouldn’t the Braves only have to send ~750K to the Tigers to even out the cash, not the 1.5MM stated in the article? 750K leaves both teams on the hook for around 1.25MM from here on out. Again, just a nerdy nitpick from someone who loves all the content you guys provide.
I guess I read the comments as suggesting that the teams would be paying as much now as they were before, so ATL would basically be covering the difference in their salaries.
I like Aybar. Enjoyed watching him in the 2013 World Baseball Classic as he was one of the tournament’s top performers. Great bunter, too, strong fundamentals. Nice pickup, Detroit.