Brewers win negotiating rights to Aoki
By The Sports Xchange
It doesn’t match the intrigue - or high price - of the Yu Darvish bidding, but the Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly claimed the highest posting bid for Japanese center fielder Norichika Aoki.
The Yakult Swallows have awarded Aoki’s rights to the Brewers after Milwaukee’s bid of $2.5 million, according to Japanese newspaper Hochi Shimbun.
While Darvish has commanded the baseball world’s attention with what is reportedly a record-setting bid in the posting system, Aoki comes at a far less expensive cost than the famous pitcher.
The three-time Central League batting champion has a career average of .329 for the Swallows in his eight seasons. The Brewers will have 30 days to negotiate a deal with the 29-year-old Aoki, who hit .292 with four home runs and 44 RBI last year.
The Brewers have Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez in center field, but could use some depth in the outfield due to the possible suspension of left fielder Ryan Braun, which could last nearly a third of the season.
Braun is facing the prospect of a 50-game suspension for a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, but plans to appeal it and has vehemently said he did not take such drugs.