New York Mets News

Mets should not have bothered with Nori Aoki

By Haddar Kaplun
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Norichika Aoki
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 02: Norichika Aoki /
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Just yesterday the Mets signed veteran outfielder Nori Aoki for the rest of this season. The reason for signing him is bewildering

Aoki, the 35-year-old from Japan, played for both the Astros and the Blue Jays in 2017, combining to bat .273 with five home runs and 27 RBIs. Throughout his career, Aoki has consistently been able to reach base, but has a lack of power in his bat.

He has 33 career home runs through six seasons. Also, Aoki, who was previously known for his speed, is already 35 and has seen his stolen base numbers gradually decrease over the years.

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The signing of Aoki prevents other young outfielders to display their skills with additional playing time. Aoki is unlikely to be in the Mets future plans, whereas Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares are attempting to make a case for next season.

Additionally, with the Mets signing another outfielder, it prevents the Mets from giving players their rare chance for at-bats in the majors. For instance, Travis Taijeron can only get better if he is given more at-bats, but it appears as of Aoki will be given just as many, or even more at-bats.

Finally, if there was even any speculation of the Mets potentially calling up Tim Tebow, with the signing of Aoki, it is unlikely that he will get called-up due to the crowded group of young outfielders.

Aoki is unlikely to be in next year’s plans for the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto should be healthy by then, and players like Lagares and Nimmo have proven to be reliable outfielders.

Furthermore, the Mets saved roughly $17 million from the various trades this summer, so there is no reason that they would not go after a big name outfielder, such as Jay Bruce. Bruce has shown interest in coming back, and by every single way possible he is a better option than Lagares, Nimmo, or even Aoki.

As of right now, Aoki does have a style of play closer to Nimmo. They both have a knack for getting on base and low power. Still, however, Nimmo is 11 years younger than Aoki, further proving that he is the better option.

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Finally, the Mets should not have bothered with Aoki because he isn’t a versatile player anymore, he is preventing playing time from other young call ups, and he probably is not even in the Mets future plans.

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