One is that the team thinks that the Mike Aviles they have on the current roster is the same Mike Aviles that the Kansas City Royals had in both 2008 and 2010. The 2008 version played 91 games at shortstop, finished fourth in the Rookie of The Year voting and hit .325 with 10 home runs, 51 RBIs and eight stolen bases.
The 2010 version of Aviles played more second base than shortstop but still managed to hit .304 with eight home runs, 32 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
Is that a dramatic step back from Marco Scutaro? One thing is for sure; at $1.2 million, he'd certainly be a far better value than Scutaro was slated to be at $6 million.
The other statement, and the one that may be on the verge of some form of resolution, is the starting pitching. Perhaps I was too quick to judge the Red Sox the other day when I made the lack of a definite No. 4 or No. 5 starter a major factor in forming my opinion that the Red Sox may very well be destined for third place in the American League East in 2012.
The money being saved on Scutaro could be used to sign Roy Oswalt or another of the remaining free agent pitchers on the market. There already are rumors that the Red Sox have intensified their pursuit of Oswalt in the aftermath of the Scutaro deal.
Acquiring Oswalt would at the very least mean the Red Sox would start the season with four guys they could feel comfortable starting every five days. The fifth could be pulled from an ever expanding pool of players that includes Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, and Felix Dubrount among others.
Would Oswalt plus Aviles (in a starting role) minus Scutaro be a formula that would make them a better team than divisional rivals Tampa Bay and New York to start the season? Probably not, but it would certainly make them a better team, and since April 1 teams rarely resemble October 1 teams, that's not the end of the world.