Aoki headed to MLB?

Upcoming gap in center?

It seems like Norichika Aoki has formally requested to be posted to the majors during the upcoming off-season.

Several teams are apparently interested.

Whether or not the team will actually post him is questionable, especially since he’s not going to earn his international free agency until the 2013 season. That fact alone could indicate that he can look forward to one more year in Japan.

Could the current request just be a formality that is laying the groundwork for an exit after the 2012 season?

Discuss it here or in the forums.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • The lack of power this season is probably just what to expect of him in the majors. NPB hitters MLB translation has just become real easy with the new ball, I suspect.

    • That’s a very interesting hypothesis. 

      How much do you think a relative uptick in pitching will hurt his numbers though. 

      If NPB numbers project more evenly now than they did with the old ball, then get me Uchikawa on the phone. I’d be happy to represent him in negotiations with MLB teams.

  • As much as I hope Aoki succeeds in the MLB (he is my favorite player after all), I really have my doubts. For example, I don’t think Aoki is a better player than Fukudome ever was, and even that guy can’t get a decent starting slot… Also, the disaster that was Nishioka last season worries me somewhat as well. Oh well, I wish him the best!
    The funny thing is, I was talking to a friend who doubts many Japanese fielders would find success in the MLB, but the one guy he thought can make it was Uchikawa.

    • Rob

      Same here, and for the same reasons. I like Aoki, but I don’t expect him to do a lot in MLB for the same reason as you give – Fukudome was solid all around and he’s still struggling.

      My only thoughts on Uchikawa are thank heavens we don’t have to face him in the CL anymore.

  • Well, it’s official. Some MLB teams will definitely bite, but probably at a pretty low cost, a few million dollars for the posting fee maybe?
    http://www.yakult-swallows.co.jp/information/detail.php?article_seq=14224

  • I will miss hearing my daughter sing Aoki’s fight song at Jingu.  
    She heard the lyrics wrong when she was 3-4 years old — “Tansu (instead of “chance”) no tobira o hirake!”,which means “open the door of the closet”– and she’s sung it this way ever since.  

    I just wish him luck in the majors.

    • matt kiefer

      Not sure if anyone will see this; last post was so old. I live in Milwaukee and am a Brewers fan. I wanted to know if anyone could direct me to Aoki’s fight song, any Japanese signs we could make, etc. for when we go to his Bobblehead giveaway day…

      • EtsukoKoiso

        Matt, 
        This is Aoki’s song (2010-11 version). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5QwkuU6bXs
        If you play this in Milwaukee, that would be great!  Also, let us see his bobblehead!

        • Dr. No

           It’s always baffled me why they decided to go with a video of him striking out.