Blue Jays Part With Aviles, Gomes To Get Esmil Rogers

The Deal
The Blue Jays targeted relievers in trades during the 2012 season, adding Steve Delabar, Brad Lincoln and Brandon Lyon, among others. That trend continues into the offseason after Toronto acquired hard-throwing righty Esmil Rogers from the Indians for shortstop Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes, a 24-year-old who plays catcher as well as both infield corners.

Toronto had acquired Aviles just a few weeks earlier, on Oct. 21, in the deal that shipped manager John Farrell and righty reliever David Carpenter to the Red Sox. In essence, the Blue Jays traded Farrell, Carpenter, Aviles and Gomes to get Rogers. They must have some glowing reports on the 26-year-old power-armed righthander.

Blue Jays Acquire
Esmil Rogers, rhp
Age: 26. Throws: R. Remaining Commitment: Under club control for four more seasons, 2013-16 ($481,000 salary in 2012).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Colorado (NL) 2012 0 2 8.06 23 0 0 26 36 23 23 2 18 29 2.10
Cleveland (AL) 2012 3 1 3.06 44 0 0 53 47 19 18 5 12 54 1.11
3-Year Totals
11 12 5.97 113 21 0 234 287 166 155 26 103 212 1.67

The Indians made an astute trade with the Rockies to acquire Rogers in June. His arm strength was obvious, yet he had pitched to an 8.15 ERA in 77 career innings in Coors Field and had gone 6-8, 6.24 with a 1.77 WHIP in 22 starts as he moved in and out of the Colorado rotation. Cleveland put Rogers in one role (and kept him out of Coors) and watched him thrive for the very first time in the big leagues. He struck out 54 batters in 53 innings and assumed more and more responsibility as the season wore on. In a refreshing change, he held lefthanded batters in check at .255/.327/.337 with only one homer allowed in 98 at-bats. Rogers fastball velocity averaged 95.8 mph (13th highest among major league relievers with at least 60 innings) and his slider 88.3 mph (sixth) to give him two true power weapons that miss bats.
Indians Acquire
Yan Gomes, c/3b/1b
Age: 24. Born: July 19, 1987 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 215.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Barry (Fla.)
Career Transactions: Selected by Blue Jays in 10th round of 2009 draft; signed June 19, 2009.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Las Vegas (PCL) AAA .328 79 305 44 100 29 1 13 59 25 72 4 .380 .557
Toronto (AL) MLB .204 43 98 9 20 4 0 4 13 6 32 0 .264 .367

Gomes owns a career .287/.344/.484 batting line in the minors and has played multiple positions. He has good hands and feet that allow him to provide solid defense behind the plate. He has a strong arm and turns in above-average pop times. He's quick, athletic and can handle catcher, third base and first base. At the plate, Gomes generates very good bat speed that produces solid power. His hands are high in his load, which can create a little length to his swing, but he's pretty direct to the ball and has the ability to make adjustments. The Blue Jays called on several prospects this season, including Gomes, because of injuries. He may begin 2013 in Triple-A, but he showed defender versatility and ability to handle the bat. Having Gomes around might enable the Indians to play Carlos Santana at first base with regularity and go with Lou Marson and Gomes behind the plate.
Mike Aviles, ss
Age: 31. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: Arbitration-eligible for 2013-14 seasons ($1.2 million salary in 2012).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Boston (AL) 2012 .250 136 512 57 128 28 0 13 60 23 77 14 .282 .381
3-Year Totals
.270 337 1222 151 330 61 6 28 131 56 170 42 .302 .399

A steady defender and righthanded hitter, Aviles fits in the infield mix for an Indians club that features young lefty-hitting regulars at second (Jason Kipnis) and third base (Lonnie Chisenhall), while he also can fill in for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. He's an upgrade on Cleveland's prime utility man from last season, Jason Donald, but at more than three times the price.
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