Norichika Aoki signed a one-year, $4.7 million contract with the Giants on Friday.
The deal is for 2015 plus a club option for 2016, a relatively short-term contract for someone reportedly seeking a multi-year pact. Aoki will earn $4 million in 2015, per Shea, plus a $5.5 million option, plus up to $1.5 million annually in performance bonuses. The 2016 option comes with a $700,000 buyout.
And a mandatory refresher on the player the Giants are acquiring.
Aoki’s defense has been an issue throughout the postseason, with Yost frequently taking him out late in games in favor of Jarrod Dyson while shifting Lorenzo Cain from center field to right field.
So instead of doing that again Yost may just decide to start Dyson and use Aoki off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Aoki is a better hitter than Dyson, but he’s hardly an impact bat and an extra five or six innings of better defense and baserunning could be worth the change.
It’s worth talking for a second about Aoki, because he so thoroughly symbolizes this team. As a young man, he was a major star in his home country of Japan, a whirlwind of a hitter a sort of a second Ichiro. At 29 he somewhat inexplicably fell off. He then found himself in Milwaukee, and this past offseason, he came to Kansas City. He was thoroughly disappointing until late September when, for no apparent reason, he briefly proved impossible to get out. He hit .458 the last two weeks of the ...
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