Brewers trade Norichika Aoki to Royals for Will Smith

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Kansas City has a new starting outfielder, as the Royals announced that they’ve acquired Norichika Aoki from the Brewers for left-hander Will Smith.

Aoki has been a tremendous bargain for Milwaukee since coming over from Japan two seasons ago, playing nearly every day and hitting .287 with a .355 on-base percentage, 50 steals, and quality outfield defense while earning just $3 million total.

He’s under contract for just $2 million in 2014, so it’s a little surprising that the Brewers couldn’t get more for him than the 24-year-old Smith. While certainly not a bad young pitcher, Smith has a 4.76 ERA through 123 career innings and shifted to the bullpen this year after looking like little more than a potential back-of-the-rotation starter based on his minor-league track record.

Perhaps that’s the going rate for a good, cheap 31-year-old outfielder and the move does clear room for Khris Davis to play regularly for the Brewers after the 25-year-old slugged 11 homers in his 56-game debut.

Angels reportedly looking at Yasmani Grandal

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With Wilson Ramos signing and the list of teams who are serious contenders for J.T. Realmuto shrinking by the day, we’re getting close to a game of musical chairs for teams looking for catchers. The biggest name left in that game is Yasmani Grandal, and Jon Morosi of MLB Network say that the Angels have their eye on him.

The Angels were one of the clubs that was in on Ramos before he signed with the Mets yesterday, so it makes sense. It also makes sense by virtue of the fact that, Grandal’s considerable postseason struggles aside, he has hit quite well in recent years. Indeed, his best offensive season came just this past year, with him hitting .241/.349/.466 (121 OPS+) with 24 home runs in 140 games. And, those postseason defensive struggles notwithstanding, he remains an excellent defensive catcher overall.