The San Francisco Giants and outfielder Nori Aoki have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Aoki's deal with San Francisco includes an option for 2016, which is valued at $5.5 million, reports Shea. Heyman reports that Aoki's deal will net him $4 million this season, plus a $700,000 buyout on his option, along with performance bonuses. That means that Aoki's total guarantee is $4.7 million. He can make a maximum of $12.5 million over the two seasons.
The Braves, Orioles, and Giants were all connected to Aoki this offseason. The Giants had a real need in the outfield, particularly left, where Aoki will serve as an upgrade over Gregor Blanco, who will likely become the team's fourth outfield. Overall, the Giants have Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, and now Aoki roaming their outfield in San Francisco.
The 33-year-old Aoki is from Japan and came to the United States in January 2012, signing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Aoki was a patient hitter in the Japan Central League, posting a .402 on-base percentage in eight seasons with the Yakult Swallows. Aoki has been good since coming to play in the Major Leagues, hitting .287/.353/.387/.741 with 19 career homers and 130 runs batted in over three seasons.
Aoki was traded to the Royals last offseason for Will Smith and manned mostly right field for them. In 549 plate appearances, he hit .285/.349/.360/.710 with one home runs, 22 doubles, six triples, and 17 stolen bases (25 attempts). Aoki was worth 104 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) in 132 games. Overall, Aoki is above average on offense, defense, and the base paths, and was worth a solid 2.3 fWAR last season.
While Aoki and Gregor Blanco are similar players, the Giants have been looking for an outfield upgrade this offseason. He should do a good job of filling that role for San Francisco.