The Milwaukee Brewers have been awarded exclusive negotiating rights with Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki, according to the Japanese newspaper Hochi Shimbun. The sides now have 30 days to work out a deal.
The Yakult Swallows accepted the $2.5 million posting fee on Friday, according to Yahoo! Sports. Aoki, 29, made the All-Star team seven times in his eight-year career in Japan. A speedy slap hitter, he has won three batting titles while hitting .329, with a .402 on-base percentage and .454 slugging percentage. He has excellent range in center field, but his throwing arm is considered suspect. Aoki was a member of the Japanese teams that won the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009. He also played on Japan’s 2008 Olympic team.