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Mets release Nori Aoki

Aoki signed a major league deal with the Mets in early September.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets announced today that they are releasing veteran outfielder Nori Aoki. The 35-year-old started the 2017 season with the Houston Astros before being shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline as part of a package for Houston to acquire pitcher Francisco Liriano. He played just 12 games for the Jays before being designated for assignment. The Mets signed him to a major league deal on September 2, helping to reinforce an injury-ravaged and trade-depleted outfield.

During his Mets tenure, Aoki settled mostly into a leadoff role, hitting .284/.371/.373 over the final month of the season. He posted a wRC+ of 106 and collected 29 hits over 32 games. True to form, Aoki was a tough strikeout with a K rate of just 8%.

Looking ahead to 2018, it was tough to see where Aoki would fit into the Mets’ plans other than as an injury replacement. He hit a respectable .277/.335/.393 over the year, good for a .728 OPS. To his credit, he has always been a consistent, if mediocre, player.

Aoki is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter, so as the Mets look to re-tool this offseason, it makes sense that they would look to spend that money in other places of need. Given his consistency, Aoki will almost definitely find a landing spot somewhere for the 2018 season.