Astros claim Nori Aoki off waivers from the Mariners

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The Astros announced on Thursday that outfielder Nori Aoki has been claimed off waivers from the Mariners.

Aoki, 34, was thought to be a free agent, but because his 2017 option didn’t vest at 480 plate appearances, the Astros will control him through arbitration going into next season, as’s Greg Johns points out. Aoki was just shy, finishing with 467 PA.

Aoki finished this past season with a 2.83/.349/.388 triple-slash line with 32 extra-base hits, 28 RBI, and 63 runs scored. He’s an option in left field with the Astros. While he doesn’t hit for much of any power, nor does he provide value with defense or base running, he makes lots of contact and could slot in nicely at the front end of the Astros’ batting order.