11/03/12 4:40 PM ET
Blue Jays add bullpen depth by acquiring Rogers
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Toronto sent recently acquired infielder Mike Aviles to Cleveland along with utility man Yan Gomes as part of the deal. The move should help solidify the bullpen, which could be on the verge of losing veterans Jason Frasor and Brandon Lyon to free agency.
Rogers is a hard thrower and is under team control through the 2016 campaign. He spent parts of four seasons in Colorado until coming over during a June 12 trade for cash considerations.
The 27-year-old posted a 4.69 ERA in 67 combined games in the National League and American League. Once in Cleveland, he struck out 54 batters in just 53 innings while owning an impressive 1.11 WHIP and 3.06 ERA.
"He's always had exceptional stuff -- that's what attracted us to him in the first place -- but some things clicked for him this year," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti told reporters. "He really had a very good year and was very effective for us. He's not a guy that we wanted to trade, or we're looking to trade, but we had some depth in the bullpen."
Aviles' tenure in Toronto comes to an end after just two weeks. He was originally acquired from Boston in October as compensation when manager John Farrell signed a multiyear contract with the Red Sox.
The veteran infielder never appeared to have much of a future in Toronto and always was intended to be used as trade bait. Rookie Adeiny Hechavarria gives the Blue Jays a potential starter at second base while the club looks for upgrades, and Aviles would have been forced into a reserve role.
Aviles hit .250 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs in 136 games with the Red Sox last season. He has the ability to play three infield positions, but the veteran struggled getting on base, as evidenced by last year's .282 OBP.
Gomes is a versatile player that could have a role off the bench for years to come. He is a natural catcher but can easily handle first base, third and left field. Last season, the 25-year-old became the first player from Brazil to appear in a Major League game, and he eventually hit .204 with four homers in 43 games.
"He has played first base and he has played third base, but he's spent most of his career behind the plate," Antonetti said. "Toronto is an organization that is very deep, not only at the Major League level, but at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues, in catching. So Gomes did not have an opportunity to be a everyday catcher at every level. He had to earn his playing time and earn his at-bats, and he's done that."
Toronto likely will continue to build depth in the bullpen, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos is now working from an area of strength. Rogers joins fellow right-handers Casey Janssen, Brad Lincoln, Steve Delabar and Sergio Santos as potential fits next year.
Left-hander Darren Oliver, who is pondering retirement, provides additional options, as do southpaws Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup. It wasn't immediately clear how the acquisition of Rogers affects the status of Frasor or Lyon, but the club likely could still afford to bring on one more reliable right-handed arm.