Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Yakult Swallows have filed the necessary paperwork to post Japanese center fielder Norichika Aoki, as expected.
Aoki is a three-time batting champion with a career .329 average and the 29-year-old is considered a plus defender with excellent speed, so he figures to draw a decent amount of interest despite limited power.
Last week Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported that the Nationals could target Aoki after repeatedly failing to trade for a veteran center fielder like B.J. Upton or Denard Span.
As part of the posting process, MLB teams will submit bids for exclusive negotiating rights to Aoki and then must work out a separate contract with the center fielder.
The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.
The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.
One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.