7. Erick Aybar
Acquired to provide an upgrade over Aviles and McGehee, Aybar did just that as a utility infielder for the Detroit Tigers.
After coming over from Atlanta, the veteran showed glimpses of the All-Star form he flashed during his days as an everyday starter for Anaheim.
In 29 games for Detroit, Aybar posted a .341 on-base percentage. Had he marinated that number over an entire season, it would have been the second-highest mark in the category of his career. The infielder also added eight RBI, seven runs scored, five doubles and a home run. He struck out 11 times, but also drew 11 walks.
Aybar’s 88 wRC+ was higher than the combined number (74) of the two players he came into provide an upgrade over. The infielder did all this despite being hurt by a .279 BABIP.
In addition to being an upgrade over Aviles and McGehee, Aybar even out-produced regular starter Jose Iglesias in a number of categories, including ISO, wOBA and wRC+. If it weren’t for Iglesias’ elite defense, Aybar may have been the consistent starter down the stretch.
With his contract up after the World Series, it will be interesting to see if the Tigers retain him. He’d be an intriguing bench cog moving forward.