Tweeter Royals Revival broke the news first, but now it is official, the Royals have acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from the Milwaukee Brewers for pitcher Will Smith. Craig gave a bit more background on Aoki earlier this morning here.
Aoki is a 32 year old left-handed hitter from Hyuga, Japan who arrived in North America as a free agent in 2012. Since arriving, he has been a terrific contact hitter, hitting for high averages, drawing a few walks, and hardly striking out. Last year he hit .286/.356/.370 with 8 HR 37 RBI and 20 steals. In 2012 he hit for even morew power, slugging .433 thanks to 37 doubles. With his speed he could really take advantage of Kauffman's deep alleys and fast outfield surface.
Aoki is also known as an above average defender who can handle centerfield, but will more likely be called on to play right-field for the Royals. Aoki will make $2 million this year, then can file for free agency next winter.
Will Smith was a 24 year old left-handed pitcher who posted a 3.24 ERA for the Royals in 33 1/3 innings with 43 strikeouts and just seven walks. He was acquired in the Alberto Callaspo trade back in 2010, but had struggled as a starter in 2012 in 16 starts and the club began to see his future in the bullpen. He may get a chance to start in Milwaukee, but with the bullpen options the Royals already had, he was probably the odd man out here anyway.
The Royals now have Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Justin Maxwell, David Lough, Norichika Aoki, and Jarrod Dyson in their outfield, and supposedly they are still pursuing Carlos Beltran. That's a lot of outfielders without options left. More trades seem to be in the works.
So Dayton makes a trade that doesn't infuriate us. What's that feeling? Pride? No, not that. Less shame? Yea.