As first reported by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, the Brewers exercised a $1.5 million club option for 2014 Tuesday on starting right fielder Norichika Aoki.
Option decisions typically wait until after the World Series, but this one was such a no-brainer that the Milwaukee front office went ahead and pulled the early trigger. Aoki had a down year offensively in 2013 compared to his exceptional rookie campaign in 2012, but he was still a 1.7 fWAR player and worth $8.7 million by FanGraphs’ valuations.
Aoki has batted .287/.355/.399 with 18 home runs and 50 stolen bases in 306 games since leaving NPB’s Yakult Swallows for the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the start of the 2012 major league season.
The 31-year-old from Hyuga, Japan is set to become a free agent next winter.