According to Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe, free-agent outfielder Nori Aoki has been garnering interest from a handful of teams, but those teams are only offering him, at the most, two-year deals. Among the teams that are showing interest in the 33-year-old Japanese native are the Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants, the defending World Series champions.
Known for his ability to reach base, Aoki would immediately help the Orioles’ outfield which is in immediate need of outfield help with the losses of Nelson Cruz, the league’s home run leader, to the Seattle Mariners, and Nick Markakis, who recently underwent surgery on his neck, to the Atlanta Braves.
Besides their reported interest in Aoki, manager Buck Showalter reportedly met with free-agent outfielder Colby Rasmus, who hit .225/.287/.448 this past season with the Toronto Blue Jays, this past weekend. The former Blue Jay is looking to possibly re-establish his value by signing a one-year deal with a team, in hopes for a long-term deal next offseason.
The San Francisco Giants, however, already have a complete outfield with the likes of Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco and Hunter Pence, so an addition of Aoki could be seen as insurance. Also, there have been reports out there stating that the Giants have discussed a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that would bring utility man Ben Zobrist to San Francisco.
In 132 games during the 2014 campaign with the Kansas City Royals, Nori Aoki had a slash line of .285/.349/.360 with one home run and 43 runs batted in, along with 17 stolen bases and 43 runs batted in over 549 plate appearances.
SF Giants don’t have a complete outfield. Blanco would be the 4th OF if Aoki signs, which I really hope happens.