Red Sox Liked Yamaico Navarro, But Receive Proven Commodity in Mike Aviles


July 30, 2011

Red Sox Liked Yamaico Navarro, But Receive Proven Commodity in Mike Aviles Recently, Red Sox manager Terry Francona has been asked several times about the use of Yamaico Navarro in certain situations. Why is he in the lineup tonight? Why left field? Is he better option than Player X?

Francona has often said that he — and the rest of the organization, presumably — wanted to see how Navarro handled these situations. They liked Navarro?s potential, and hoped he would realize it in time.

Apparently, others outside of Boston were watching.

Navarro on Saturday was shipped to Kansas City with a minor league pitcher for infielder Mike Aviles, like Navarro a multi-positional player. While Navarro has gained praise in certain circles of the organization, the difference for the Red Sox is that Aviles is a proven commodity.

At 23 and possessing an intriguing bat, with power, and a cannon of an arm, Navarro has plenty of upside. However, he has had moments in which he looks a bit overmatched, and his defense has been shaky at times. Aviles, 30, is a bit beyond that ?potential? stage, but he gives the Red Sox a more reliable option, especially if Jed Lowrie is unable to come back strong.

Lowrie, like Aviles, is someone who can play second, shortstop and third base. He is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Pawtucket on Monday.

Aviles hit .304 with eight home runs and 14 stolen bases in 2010 but has seen his numbers and playing time drop this year. Entering Saturday, he is batting .222 with five home runs and 31 RBIs.

Still, Aviles gives the team another proven hitter against lefties, something Navarro was still working toward and something Lowrie can be, but only when active. Aviles? OPS vs. lefties this year is .944, compared to just .532 against right-handers.

Additionally, Aviles gives Boston a little more speed off the bench. He is expected to be active Saturday night in Chicago

The organization liked Navarro. But with uncertainty as to whether he was ready for the majors, the Red Sox pounced on a more sure thing.

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