The Rangers have expressed interest in Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki during talks with the Brewers about starter Yovani Gallardo, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Aoki has a cheap $1.5MM club option for 2014, so it's unclear whether the Brewers will move him.
Aoki, 31, joined the Brewers in January 2012 after they won the rights to negotiate with him from Japan's Yakult Swallows for $2.5MM. This year he's hitting .298/.366/.378 in 379 plate appearances, trading power for a slightly higher OBP as opposed to last year. He's an underpaid high-contact player who can handle all three outfield positions.
Gallardo, meanwhile, takes on another team that covets him in the Diamondbacks tonight. Some scouts see Gallardo as a No. 4 starter in the American League, maybe a 3 in the NL, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. The Rangers recently lost ace Yu Darvish to the DL for a strained trapezius muscle, which is currently considered a minor issue.