The Red Sox shipped a pair of 23-year-old prospects to the Royals for 30-year-old infielder Mike Aviles, who has gone 5-for-16 (.313) with a pair of doubles in six games after returning from a five-week stay in Triple-A. Kansas City received third baseman/shortstop Yamaico Navarro, whom Boston was grooming as a utility player, and high Class A righthanded reliever Kendal Volz.
Aviles finished fourth in American League rookie of the year voting as a shortstop for the 2008 Royals, but he has played the position less and less frequently as he’s aged and now spends most of his time at second base. He also plays third base. Aviles seldom walks and has fringy power, so his value is tied to his ability to make contact (he strikes out in fewer than 13 percent of at-bats) and to hit lefthanded pitchers (he’s a career .296/.343/.464 in 385 plate appearances).
Yamaico Navarro, 3b/ss/of Age: 23. Position: 3B (20 G), SS (10 G), RF (8 G), LF (6 G), 2B (5 G), CF (1 G). Born: Oct. 31, 1987 in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 170. Bats: R. Throws: R. Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Red Sox, Sept. 23, 2005.
was one of the best upper-level prospects in a Red Sox system that has been thinned out at the top by trades over the last couple of years. Signed for $20,000 as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic in 2005,
he fits best at third base but played six different positions at Triple-A Pawtucket this year. He has seen time at second base, third base, shortstop and left field in brief big league duty in Boston over the last two seasons. He had no clear opening to be more than a utilityman for the Red Sox, but may get a chance to star at second base in Kansas City because he has a higher offensive ceiling than incumbent Chris Getz. Navarro controls the strike zone reasonably well and has tremendous bat speed, so he has the ability to hit for solid average with as many as 15-20 homers per season. His strong arm is his best defensive tool, and he also shows some quickness and soft hands. His effort and conditioning waver at times, though he has gotten more consistent in those regards in recent seasons. Aviles may be better prepared to help the Red Sox today, but Navarro has more long-term potential.
Kendal Volz, rhp Age: 23. Born: Dec. 2, 1987 in San Antonio. Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 225. Bats: R. Throws: R. School: Baylor. Career Transactions: Selected by Red Sox in ninth round of 2009 draft; signed Aug. 17, 2009.
entered 2009 as a potential first-round pick but dropped to the ninth round after a disappointing junior season at Baylor. Signed for $550,000, he hasn’t lived up to that bonus and moved from the rotation to bullpen this year at high Class A Salem. He works with an 88-92 mph fastball and a pair of mediocre secondary pitches (curveball, changeup),
but his stuff is going to have to improve if he’s going to eventually claim a role as a big league middle reliever. He throws strikes but his command within the strike zone is suspect, making him hittable.
Red Sox Acquire
Mike Aviles, 2b/3b Age: 30. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: $640,000 salary for 2011; under club control for 2012-14 seasons. Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.