Blue Jays Free Agent Profile: Is Nori Aoki a Good Option?


With the recent buzz around the Toronto Blue Jays, do you think it has made them an appealing landing spot for free agents? GM, Alex Anthopoulos certainly claims as much.  So, I’m wondering what is taking Melky Cabrera so long? I haven’t seen any rumblings or other rumors about other clubs being “in” on him.

Live Feed

MLB Probable Pitchers for Saturday, September 17 (Who's Starting for Every MLB Team?)
MLB Probable Pitchers for Saturday, September 17 (Who's Starting for Every MLB Team?) /


  • Orioles vs. Blue Jays Prediction and Odds for Saturday, September 17th (Bradish Continues Stellar Stretch)Betsided
  • Orioles Series Preview: Battling the Blue Jays Once MoreBirds Watcher
  • Orioles vs. Blue Jays Prediction and Odds for Friday, September 16 (Toronto is Getting Hot at Right Time)Betsided
  • MLB Probable Pitchers for Friday, September 16 (Who's Starting for Every MLB Team?)Betsided
  • MLB Weather Report for Friday, September 16 (What's the Forecast for Every MLB Team and Matchup Today?)Betsided
  • Richard Griffin says

    the White Sox, Mariners, Orioles and Rangers as having possible interest. But, the rumors certainly are not rampant.

    Maybe AA is willing to wait for Melky to realize the good thing he had in Toronto and is not going to beg, thus paying more money. Perhaps he’s willing to wait. Or, perhaps, he is checking out other options.One of those other options could AND SHOULD be Nori Aoki.

    Aoki may be a perfect replacement for Cabrera. With the additions of Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays do not necessarily need to replace Cabrera’s power. Rather, they need a guy who can get on base, steal some, score some and most importantly hit from the left side.

    Aoki’s line of .285/.349/.360/.710 is exactly what the Blue Jays need. His ability to work walks and not strike out make him very desirable. In 132 games, he only struck out 49 times! In fact, his swinging strike percent is a miniscule 4%! He can put the bat on the ball to the tune of 90.5% of the time. And, if you’re worried about him being a lefty bat against lefty pitchers, don’t. He hit lefties to a .363 average!

    Here you can see a spray chart of Aoki’s Batted Balls:


    Here you can see a spray chart of Aoki’s hits:


    So, what does all of this mean? It tells me that when he hits the ball, he doesn’t really hit with power (which, again, he doesn’t really need in this lineup) as the majority of his hits are shallow to infield. But, he does use the whole field. He’s good at shooting the ball the other way for a hit. But, he can also pull the ball as his extra base hits are all pulled.

    More from Toronto Blue Jays News

    As a defensive replacement, he would trump Melky! His UZR/150 (UZR runs above average per 150 Defensive Games) was 8.4 to Melky’s -7.1. He has the ability to play all 3 outfield positions, but most of his time came in right field with the Royals last season. Obviously, that position is spoken for, but Aoki would certainly be a viable option when resting/ DH-ing Jose Bautista.

    Perhaps the biggest draw to Nori Aoki is his cost. At 32 years old, he likely won’t receive a 4 year deal. If you look at his numbers, his power is actually decreasing. So, teams will not be willing to be paying a 35 year old groundball hitter with no power. projects that Aoki could land a 2yr/$16M deal. Depending on whether teams see his 2014 season as a fluke, even though it is pretty consistent with his previous years, he could remain on the market while the bigger names sort out their situations. He’ll certainly be a lot cheaper than Melky’s potential 4yr/$60-$70M.

    This might be the time for Alex Anthopoulos to pounce. He has shown already this off season that he is not going to sit back and wait for things to come to him. He’s shown a much more aggressive approach. Rather than wait for other teams to dictate his options, he may wish to go about his business and plug the holes.

    If that is the case, Nori Aoki may be a good idea.

    *Thanks to our friends at for the spray charts.