One of the franchises that is comprehending on how to build a modern pennant winner is the Seattle Mariners. They are tying to mold their team to the most athletic version they can find. Players that can run, play defense, lay down bunts, and manufacture runs. Their latest target can do all of these things if he can prove that he has gotten over a frightful concussion. Of course we are talking about Nori Aoki.
MLB fans have seen the skill set that Nori brought over from Japan transfer nicely into the majors. His batting average and on base percentage makes him an ideal #2 hitter. Speed on the bases to burn. He can sacrifice the leadoff runner nicely to set up the three and four spots. Icharo has proven that this type of player has career well into his late 30’s. Finally, one does not have to break the bank to get him.
Arrieta Fastball to the Head
What gives pause to teams is the concussion he suffered near the end of the season. A Jake fastball to the head can scramble the cranium with the speed he slings it. Aoki went to the DL, came back, and went back out for the rest of the season with dizziness. With our knowledge about closed head injuries not near what it should be, teams would be taking more than a slight risk signing him long term.
This would be the ideal bail out plan if the Mariners fail to get Marcell Ozuna. The king’s ransom that the Marlins want is rumored to be Taijuan Walker in return. Even if they do sign him, Aoki near four million is the ideal player to spell the team and provide situational depth. If Seattle signs him then their futures to make the playoffs are that much better of a buy. Stay tuned next time as we examine more potential signings that could change the MLB futures market.