The Detroit Tigers are reportedly listening to offers on catcher Alex Avila, and among the clubs interested in him are the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. The 27-year-old Avila is owed $5.4 million this season on a team option and is eligible for free agency next winter.
Avila is coming off a rough 2014 season in which he dealt with concussions and wasn't quite right when healthy. He hit just .218/.327/.359 with a 97 wRC+ and 2.1 WAR, which is a far cry from his breakout 2011 season when he posted a 140 wRC+ and 4.6 WAR. He still displays strong defense and excellent plate discipline, but his ability to hit for average and power has dwindled over the past few years. Still, a healthy Avila figures to be an above-average option behind the plate, which should make him rather enticing if Detroit decides to put him on the block.
The interest of the Braves and Red Sox is rather intriguing since both are heading into 2015 with a young, defense first starting backstop in Christian Bethancourt (Evan Gattis will officially move to left field full-time assuming he isn't traded) and Christian Vazquez, respectively. Of course, considering their youth and relatively weak offensive profiles, Avila would seem to be a nice complement to one of them.