The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a one-year contract with former Royals outfielder Nori Aoki, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The contract is worth $4 million in 2015 with a $5.5 million club option for 2016 and a $700,000 buyout option. Aoki can also earn $1.5 million in performance bonuses. The outfielder had reportedly sought a multi-year deal elsewhere, but he settled for one year to guarantee himself consistent playing time on a contender. Aoki will likely start in left field for the Giants.
Mets fans will immediately compare Aoki's $4 million price tag with the $8.5 million that the Mets will pay Michael Cuddyer in 2015. However, if we believe the reports that Aoki took a pay cut to play for a contender, it is unlikely that the Mets could have signed him to such a team-friendly deal. Furthermore, Aoki is an inferior hitter compared to Cuddyer. Over the past two years, Cuddyer has hit .331/.385/..543, while Aoki has hit .288/.353/.366.
If you're still disheartened by Aoki's inexpensive contract, take solace in this: Aaron Gleeman of NBC Sports points out that Nori Aoki and Nick Markakis have remarkably similar slash lines from 2012 to 2014. The Braves recently paid Markakis $44 million over four years, while Aoki will make $4 million this year. At least the Mets didn't make that mistake.