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.