San Francisco got a first-hand look at Norichika Aoki while beating Kansas City in the World Series and now the Giants have signed the 33-year-old outfielder.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that it’s a one-year deal worth $4 million and includes a 2016 team option with a $700,000 buyout. Seems like a bargain.
Aoki has his flaws, chief among them sometimes looking like a mess defensively with poor routes, but his defensive numbers have actually been pretty good and he’s a career .287 hitter with a .353 on-base percentage and as many walks as strikeouts during three seasons in America.
Aoki will take over in left field, where the Giants used Michael Morse for most of the regular season and then turned to journeyman first baseman Travis Ishikawa in the playoffs.
George A. King III of the New York Post reports that the Yankees and outfielder Brett Gardner are back together on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal includes a second year option worth $20 million.
Gardner, 36, is coming off of the strongest offensive season of his career, batting .251/.325/.503 with 28 home runs, 74 RBI, 86 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases over 550 plate appearances. While he has certainly lost a step or two with age, he still rates as an above-average defensive corner outfielder as well.
As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes, the Yankees also value Gardner — a veteran of 12 seasons — for his leadership, especially with CC Sabathia and Didi Gregorius gone.
Bringing Gardner back into the fold allows Giancarlo Stanton to remain the full-time DH. Gardner will return to left field with Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge reprising their roles in center and right, respectively.