BOSTON, MA - JULY 26: Josh Reddick #16 of the Boston Red Sox is caught stealing by Mike Aviles #13 of the Kansas City Royals in the 12th inning on July 26, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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In what can only be described as the precursor to a bigger move, the Boston Red Sox have acquired utility infielder Mike Aviles from Kansas City for INF Yamaico Navarro and minor-league pitcher Kendal Volz.
Aviles, a 30-year old who has played in four seasons with Kansas City, was hitting .222 with five homers, 31 RBIs and a .656 slugging percentage in 53 games for the Royals.
He's coming off a year in which he played 110 games, hitting .304 with 8 HR and 32 RBI for Kansas City.
Navarro, whom the Red Sox had been quite high on, had hit .216 in 16 games with the major league club this year. He'd hit .280 with 41 HR and 255 RBI in six minor-league seasons in the Red Sox' organization.
It's a most curious move, as the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber points out, because fellow utilityman and presumed starting shortstop Jed Lowrie is starting a rehab assignment in Pawtucket on Monday as he tries to work his way back from a shoulder injury.
Lowrie, it bears mentioning, has been oft-injured and the Red Sox might see him as part of a bigger deal, although it's unclear where they might move him to - their aim at Colorado Rockies' ace Ubaldo Jimenez wouldn't require a shortstop, as Colorado already has Troy Tulowitzki.
If included in a deal, Colorado may look at Lowrie as a second baseman, which is his natural position and a spot at which the Rockies could use some improvement, as Jonathan Herrera has struggled in what's been essentially his sophomore season.