Norichika Aoki To Be Posted

The Tokyo Yakult Swallows are posting three-time Central League batting champion Norichika Aoki, according to the Japan Times (via Patrick Newman). Teams can now bid for the right to negotiate with the 29-year-old outfielder via the posting system. CAA agent Nez Balelo will represent Aoki, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).

Aoki hit .292/.358/.360 in 643 plate appearances in 2011 – a definite dropoff compared to 2010, when he won his third batting title. Last year Newman called Aoki "the best pure hitter Japan has produced since Ichiro," and explained that the outfielder has great range and a below-average arm.

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