This past week, the Boston Red Sox made a trade with the Kansas City Royals that saw them acquire shortstop Mike Aviles in exchange for infielder/outfielder Yamaico Navarro and 23-year-old pitching prospect, Kendal Volz.
At 30, Aviles is a late-bloomer having finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting just three years ago. Apparently, the Red Sox some something in Aviles immediately as it was him who drove in the winning run for Kansas City in their 14-inning victory over Boston last week.
Despite being a shortstop, Aviles has played mostly second- and third-base in the 53 games he suited up for the Royals this season. Aviles is hitting .222 with five homers in 2011 so far and, although his offensive stats don't jump off the page, his defensive ability will help the Red Sox make some sure outs at opportune times.
As for pitching, the Red Sox have fallen on some hard times as it was just recently announced that Clay Buchholz will likely miss the remainder of the season with a back injury that has been plaguing him the last few months.
Not only that but Boston's recent hopes of acquiring pitcher Rich Harden from Oakland fell through when the proposed trade was called off. Instead, Boston management didn't have to look far as they acquired lefty Erik Bedard from the Seattle Mariners instead.
To get Bedard, the Red Sox actually had to go through a three-team trade (with the Dodgers being the third team) and thus, had to trade two prospects each both Los Angeles and Seattle. From the Dodgers, Boston acquired outfielder Trayvon Robinson.
As for Bedard, the Red Sox do pick up a very talented pitcher, although his tenure in Seattle was somewhat forgettable considering how often the Canadian was injured during his time in the Emerald City.
Bedard, 32, began his career in Baltimore with the Orioles and found great success there, including whenever he faced the Red Sox. Boston management is obviously hoping for the Bedard of old to surface in Beantown as this season, he has gone 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA in just 91 1/3 innings.
Both deals look good for the Sox on paper. Now, it's time to see how they look on the field.