Earlier Tuesday, it was reported that Kelly Shoppach had cleared waivers. Mike Aviles had been placed on waivers at the same time, and there was no word of his clearing, so it was safe to assume that he had indeed been claimed before he could. MLB Trade Rumors says differently, though, as they list Aviles along with the rest of those who have cleared waivers. Aviles is the fourth Red Sox player to make it through waivers, joining the aforementioned Shoppach, as well as infielder Nick Punto and outfielder Carl Crawford.
Aviles has hit .257/.289/.400 for an OPS+ of 81 in 2012. While not the most exciting of lines, it's actually what you'd get out of a league-average shortstop: his split-adjusted OPS+, comparing him to other shortstops, is 99. Throw in that his glove work has been the best part of the Aviles package in 2012, and Boston has had themselves an inexpensive and useful piece at a tough position to fill.
That makes it somewhat curious that no one claimed him. It's not that Aviles is a massive impact piece, but his year has been the equal of Marco Scutaro's at the plate*, and Aviles has been better defensively. Scutaro was acquired by the Giants to shore up their infield before July was out, and they can't be the only club among the other 29 who needed an infielder down the stretch. To make matters more confusing, Aviles is owed just the last of his $1.2 million salary from 2012, and has two more years of team control left. He could be non-tendered, or a part of a club's immediate future, but either way the cost is small.
*Yes, that was a very deliberate comparison, why do you ask?
Regardless of why Aviles might have cleared, that means he's Boston's to keep, lest they work out a trade for him before season's end. Should he be dealt after September 1, he won't be able to join whichever team's playoff roster when it comes that time. That being said, he would need to be traded first, and there's no real indication that's what Boston's goal with placing him on waivers was.