CLEVELAND — In a move that was expected, the Indians have picked up their club option on infielder Mike Aviles for next season.
Aviles, who will be in his third season with the Tribe, hit .247 with 16 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 39 RBI. He equaled his career-high with 14 stolen bases and had two walk off hits, including a home run on Aug. 14 against Baltimore.
Besides the 113 games played, Aviles started games at six different positions, including 28 apiece at second and third. He had 11 starts at short, 16 in left field, two in right and one in center.
“It gives Tito great comfort on the bench because he can fill in and contribute anywhere,” said general manager Chris Antonetti about Aviles. “It allowed us to carry an extra reliever for most of the year and beyond what he does on the field he’s a great teammate and part of the fabric of our team.”
Aviles was the only player the Indians needed to decide on about an option. Jason Giambi filed for free agency on Thursday while six players – pitchers Carlos Carrasco, Mark Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Josh Tomlin; catcher Chris Gimenez and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall – are eligible for arbitration.
As far as Giambi, Antonetti did not rule out a return but acknowledged it would very difficult finding a spot for him on the roster.
“We’ve been in touch with G and his agent. He’s still decompressing from the season and figuring out what’s next,” Antonetti said. “He’s going to have opportunities to do a lot of different things.”
Antonetti did say there might be an opportunity for Giambi within the organization in a coaching capacity but not on the Major League staff since there aren’t any openings. First-base coach Sandy Alomar and bullpen coach Kevin Cash interviewed for managerial openings.
THREE PROMOTIONS: Along with exercising the option on Aviles, the Indians announced three promotions within their Baseball Operations Department.
Ross Atkins has been promoted to Vice President, Player Personnel, Carter Hawkins to Director of Player Development and Paul Gillispie to Director of Pro Scouting.
Atkins, who has been with the club since 1995, has led the Player Development system the past eight years. In his new role, Atkins will be more of a connection between the play acquisition areas and player development. He also will directly manage the club’s Special Assistants and oversee Player Development and Latin American operations.
Hawkins has been the Assistant Director of Player Development the past four seasons while Gillispie has been the Assistant Director of Scouting the past six years mainly concentrating on amateur scouting and the draft. In his new role, Gillispie will manage the professional staff.
It has been an evolution on some fronts. This allows Ross to go from the day to day duties of farm director and get involved in other aspects of the organization,” Antonetti said.