This is definitely not the news that Astros fans were hoping for to start the day. Most were eagerly waiting on Encarancion to sign a deal to play in Houston. Well, if you believe certain sources on Twitter.
However, this is still a good baseball move to lock up Nori Aoki for the 2017 season. Don’t forget that he can be serviceable outfielder for Houston as the team looks to balance the lineup. And Aoki certainly does that as he doesn’t strike out a lot. In fact, he only has an 8.0% SO% for his entire career. That is a welcomed addition in my book for a lineup that has been a bit strike out prone in recent years.
But you do sacrifice power with Aoki as the 34-year old has only hit 28 home runs for his major league career. That’s besides the point, though.
The $5.5 million agreed upon matches the salary that Aoki earned last season. In fact, this deal is actually less than what he could’ve made via arbitration. So the Astros may have gotten a deal of this in the end. After all, you can do much worse with $5.5 million.