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Astros avoid arbitration with Nori Aoki

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The Astros have avoided arbitration with outfielder Nori Aoki, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $5.5 million, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. Aoki was entering his third of four years of arbitration eligibility.

Aoki was claimed by the Astros off waivers from the Mariners earlier this month. He finished the 2016 season batting .283/.349/.388 with 32 extra-base hits and 63 runs scored in 467 plate appearances.

There had been some thought that the Astros might non-tender Aoki after signing Josh Reddick, but at the very least, he’ll provide the club some outfield depth.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.