Aoki, 33, had a solid first half last year with the Giants but struggled down the stretch with a fairly significant concussion issue. While we’ve heard indications that he’ll be at full strength, San Francisco declined to pick up his seemingly reasonable $5.5MM option. Of course, it could be that the team simply decided to go in another direction.
He’s hardly an exciting player, but Aoki has been slightly above average at the plate, rather consistently, in his four years since coming to the majors. His .287/.353/.380 slash was good for a 112 wRC+ last year, and both UZR and DRS rated him as an average or better option in the corner outfield. Though Aoki’s overall baserunning numbers weren’t favorable in 2015, he managed to swipe 14 bags in just 93 games.
For Seattle, Aoki would likely slot in as part of an outfield rotation. The club’s possible outfield mix currently features two lefty bats (Seth Smith and Leonys Martin) and three righties (Nelson Cruz, Franklin Gutierrez, and Mark Trumbo). (Of course, some of those players could also factor in at DH and first.) It’s not immediately obvious how things would work out if Aoki were to be added, but it’s worth recalling that new GM Jerry Dioto has already done a lot of asset shifting this winter and could have more in store.