The loss of Aviles is not an insignificant one for the Red Sox. He could have been a solid player off the bench next season, capable of backing up three infield positions and even playing some outfield.
He posted on his Twitter account Sunday: “Wanna thank #RedSoxNation for all the support, great city, team and fans! Loved my time there but now it’s time for a new chapter! #gojays.”
Aviles had a much better season than expected in 2012. His defensive play at shortstop — he had a 5.3 UZR, ninth among major league shortstops — was terrific and he contributed 41 extra-base hits to the offense.
Aviles had 546 plate appearances, more than anybody on the team outside of Dustin Pedroia. He and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were the lone position players to stay on the roster for all 162 games.
Off the field, Aviles was one of the most professional and accountable players on the team, setting an example that young players like Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway took notice of. In a clubhouse that was often in turmoil, Aviles was a player who managed to get along with everybody.