The Mets have released veteran outfielder Nori Aoki, per a club announcement. He had been eligible for arbitration, but will instead return to the open market in search of his next destination.
Aoki, 35, caught on with the Mets after opening the 2017 season with the Astros and joining the Blue Jays via trade. In total, he compiled 258 plate appearances of .277/.335/.393 hitting on the season. That rates right near the league average in total output, which is more or less where Aoki has landed in all of his six MLB campaigns.
The move isn’t at all surprising given Aoki’s projected arbitration salary, which sat at a fairly hefty $6.3MM. Still, he’ll surely draw interest in free agency. For all he lacks in upside, Aoki has been stunningly consistent since coming over from Japan. Despite little power, Aoki is nearly impossible to strike out. And while his output against lefties dipped this year in a small sample, he has generally shown little in the way of a platoon split.