Sunday, December 18, 2011
Updated: December 19, 9:39 PM ET
Brewers win Norichika Aoki bid rights
ESPN.com news services
TOKYO -- The Milwaukee Brewers have won the right to negotiate a contract with Japanese center fielder Norichika Aoki.
Aoki's team, the Yakult Swallows, said Sunday it had accepted the Brewers' bid of $2.5 million under the posting system.
The Brewers have 30 days to work out a deal with the 29-year-old Aoki, a three-time Central League batting champion.
Aoki batted .292 with four home runs and 44 RBIs in 144 games for the Swallows this season. He has a career batting average of .329 in eight seasons, all with Yakult.
Aoki is the only player in Japanese professional baseball to have had two 200-hit seasons.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has indicated he was satisfied moving forward with a center-field platoon that includes the eccentric Nyjer Morgan and defensive specialist Carlos Gomez.
But left fielder Ryan Braun, the NL's reigning MVP, is facing a possible 50-game suspension after a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. The four-time All-Star maintains the result was a false positive and vows to fight it.
The Brewers are anchored in right field by Corey Hart.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.