Mike Aviles is headed north, and he's ready for a fresh start.
Aviles, who was traded to the Blue Jays in the deal that sent manager John Farrell to the Red Sox, was caught off guard a bit when hearing he had been dealt. However, he knows that a solid opportunity awaits him in Toronto.
"I was shocked. I had to just process everything at first," Aviles said, according to The Boston Globe. "At first you think about all the little things that are tough, like moving your family. But for me, all the little negatives don't come close to outweighing the big positive. I'm pretty excited about it."
Aviles could play a major utility role or even end up serving as the Blue Jays' everyday second baseman next season, which is a challenge he's welcoming with open arms. The 31-year-old is grateful for his time in Boston, though, even if things didn't always go smoothly.
"It was surprising for me and disappointing because when you join a team like the Red Sox, you expect that you're going to win and you're going to be in the playoffs," Aviles reportedly said. "But I honestly feel that it was one of those experiences that is going to make them stronger. Every team goes through struggles and championship teams learn from those."
Aviles categorized the Sox' locker room as a "band of brothers," and also downplayed the significance of an incident in which Bobby Valentine openly criticized him during a spring training fielding drill. For the New York native, it was simply something that happens over the course of a baseball season.
It remains to be seen whether the Red Sox will now turn to Jose Iglesias to be the team's starting shortstop, but Aviles is confident in the youngster's skill set.
"That kid is special. He does things in the field I've never seen anybody do and I know I can't do," Aviles reportedly said. "His hand-eye coordination in the field is amazing and it's only a matter of time before that translates into hitting for him. It will happen.
"I like Jose a lot. I was planning to talk to him a lot in the winter and I still will. He can do the job and I hope they give him the chance. It's fun to watch him play."
A classy exit by a classy player.