American League

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Acquired IF-R Mike Aviles from the Royals for IF-R Yamaico Navarro and RHP Kendal Volz. [7/30]

We know what Aviles is: a 30-year-old infielder who should never be at shortstop but can hold his own at both second and third while adding a bit of power for the position and an ability to hit lefties well. He's basically the kind of player the Red Sox needed in Navarro but more established and less athletic, with the hope that his recent complaints about not being an everyday player—which he certainly won't be in Boston—are mitigated by the fact that he's gone from a last place team to the best in the American League.

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Acquired IF-R Yamaico Navarro and RHP Kendal Volz from the Red Sox for IF-R Mike Aviles. [7/30]

This is one of those little trades that probably doesn't deserve much mention, but I still find it fascinating. When the Royals traded Wilson Betemit to the Tigers, all they got was a pair of warm bodies. Yet when they traded Aviles, a utility guy who can't even keep a big league job with the last place Royals, they get a pair of decent prospects. Not great stuff, mind you, but players who at least have a window of opportunity.

Navarro is the better of the two prospects; he's already earned a pair of big league promotions, although he failed to hit there. For the Red Sox, he profiled as a utility player who could play anywhere in the infield, but with enough power to deliver double-digit home run totals and a good approach at the plate, some scouts wonder if he could be an everyday second baseman—albeit that of the second-division variety.

Volz has resurrected a career that has been on the decline since the spring of 2009. Projected to be a possible first-round pick heading into the spring, Volz disappointed at Baylor and fell to the ninth. Moved to the bullpen this year, he has a 3.33 ERA in 31 appearances for High-A Salem and more than a strikeout per inning, but as a 23-year-old in the Carolina League, the six-foot-five righty is a bit behind the standard age development curve. His 88-90 mph fastball is more notable for its sink than its velocity, and he adds a solid slider with the hopeful projection of a seventh-inning reliever.

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Don't like this deal for the Red Sox. Aviles seems like a marginal upgrade if that over Navarro. If Navarro had any value at all, why not use him as a chip in a trade for a starter instead of swapping around backup infielders?
At this point, Navarro's likely peak is something like Aviles. KC can afford to take the chance and see what he turns out to be, but Boston can't afford to take that risk. If it doesn't pan out and there is an injury in the infield, the Sox are looking at either Sutton or Navarro. Aviles is a low risk, low reward player, but given the state of the Boston lineup, that's just what they needed.
Nice deal for the Royals.