Brewers win posting rights to Japanese center fielder

Posted by Steve

In what has become the off-season of the unexpected, the Brewers have apparently won the posting rights to Norichika Aoki, a center fielder for the Yakult Swallows, for $2.5 million.

I had actually heard a bit about him, but didn’t bother reading any scouting report until this news broke. He’s a center fielder, but it sounds like his arm is pretty weak, so he may be better suited in left. His slash line from 2007 to 2010 is .339/.421/.497/.918, although his numbers, along with the rest of the league, went down last year when they switched to a smaller baseball.

Fangraphs had an article on him a while ago in which he was called the best Japanese hitter since Ichiro. I’d be pretty happy if he was as good as Fukudome, who has a career .361 on-base percentage, but I’m guessing he doesn’t even have that much power. Still, if nothing else, he’s got to be better than Mark Kotsay.

Barring a trade, I’m guessing this means there goes any chance for Caleb Gindl or Logan Schafer this season. Still, this seems like a good move.

The Brewers will have 30 days to negotiate with Aoki. Since the posting fee wasn’t all that much, I’m guessing it won’t be more than 2 or 3 million dollars a year for a couple seasons.

So, it seems like the Brewers have a new 4th/5th outfielder? Probably good insurance if Braun is out.

Here’s some video of Aoki set to something that sounds like it’s straight out of Top Gun.

Better yet, here is the original report of the story, translated from Japanese:

Aoki, the Brewers win the Yakult

Yakult 18, posting system (bidding) parent declared outfielder Aoki Major League aims to transfer using (29) winning baseball team has announced the Brewers.

Yakult was $ 2.5 million bid from Nippon Professional Baseball through the Major Mechanism in 17 days (about 200 million yen) was notified and had to reply and accept the same day. Brewers got a 30-day exclusive negotiating rights.

Headquartered in Milwaukee Brewers are in the area belong to the National League. Played a division title this season.

Through team Aoki, “You have to bid on great teams, I am honored,” commented.

Amazing.

And finally, because I saw this tonight for the first time, here’s video of John Mayer calling a baseball game in Japan.

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