Aviles set a career-high in doubles (28) last season and matched personal bests in extra-base hits (41) and steals (14).
With no primary designated hitter currently on Cleveland's roster, Aviles could get some at-bats as DH. New manager Terry Francona has said he may use "a committee" to fill the role.
Aviles also provides the Indians with a backup plan at short in case the club doesn't re-sign All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera, whose contract will expire after the 2014 season. Cabrera has been mentioned in trade rumors before, and it's possible the Indians could find themselves in a position to deal him with several young promising shortstops already in their system.
The Indians also signed free agent left-hander Rich Hill to a minor league contract with an invitation to their training camp.
The 32-year-old Hill has made 70 career starts for the Chicago Cubs, Baltimore and Boston. He spent the past three seasons in the Red Sox organization, going a combined 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 40 relief appearances. He had a 1.83 ERA last season, but was limited to 25 outings following reconstructive elbow surgery.