Nori Aoki

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Michael Conforto set to undergo shoulder surgery

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Mets’ outfielder Michael Conforto is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery next week, reports MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. Conforto was placed on the disabled list last Friday after sustaining a posterior capsule tear and dislocation in his left shoulder. The club doesn’t appear to have a confirmed timetable for his recovery just yet, but comments from assistant general manager John Ricco indicate that he’ll be sidelined for several months.

Conforto, 24, was in the middle of his first career All-Star run with the Mets this season, slashing .279/.384/.555 with a team-leading 27 home runs and .939 OPS through 440 PA. He was expected to be a cornerstone of the Mets’ outfield next year, especially in the absence of Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go by the time spring training rolls around.

That could jeopardize the club’s outfield situation as they look toward 2018, even with fellow outfielder and DL victim Yoenis Cespedes scheduled to make a full recovery this offseason. Nori Aoki, Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo will undoubtedly see considerable playing time as the regular season draws to a close, but the Mets will likely start looking for external reinforcements if Conforto’s rehab takes longer than anticipated.

Mets sign Nori Aoki

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The Mets signed veteran outfielder Nori Aoki on Saturday, per a team announcement. Aoki was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Monday and passed through waivers unclaimed. He’s expected to join the team on the road in Houston and should be available off the bench during Saturday’s doubleheader.

Aoki, 35, slashed .274/.319/.402 in back-to-back campaigns with the Astros and Blue Jays this season, racking up a collective five home runs, 27 RBI and .724 OPS in 258 plate appearances. He hasn’t found consistent playing time in the big leagues since his 118-game stint with the Mariners in 2016, but should see plenty of starts in an outfield that has been hampered by season-ending injuries to Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes.

The veteran outfielder is under team control through 2018, and MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo speculates that the move may be more than a simple attempt to salvage the end of an underwhelming season. Even with the return of Cespedes and Conforto next spring, the team is short on outfielders after dealing Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce last month, and could use the extra help from a career .285/.350/.388 hitter.

Blue Jays designate Nori Aoki for assignment

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The Toronto Blue Jays have designated outfielder Nori Aoki for assignment.

Toronto acquired the Aoki from the Astros at the trade deadline as part of the Francisco Liriano deal. He hasn’t played much for the Blue Jays, but he has played decently, going 9-for-32 with three homers in 34 plate appearances in 12 games, only seven of which were starts. Yesterday he went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI. Just not in the Jays’ plans, it seems. For the whole season he’s hitting .274/.319/.402.

He is making $5.5 million this year on a one-year deal he signed with the Astros to avoid arbitration. He’s 35, and could likely still prove useful for some team, though perhaps more as outfield depth as opposed to serving in a starting role.