The Milwaukee Brewers will exercise their $1.5 million club option on outfielder Norichika Aoki for the 2014 season, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Aoki will become a free agent after next season, so the rebuilding Brewers may look to shop him to teams looking for outfield help this winter.
In 153 games with the Brewers on the season, Aoki has hit .289 with 8 HR and 37 RBI while notching 20 stolen bases. Those numbers are in line with his performance from his rookie season in 2012, when he hit .288 with 10 HR and 50 RBI while stealing 30 bases.
Since signing a two-year, $3.25 million contract with Milwaukee before the last season, Aoki has been one of the most consistent low-cost outfielders in the majors and will draw considerable interest if the Brewers decide to make him available this offseason. As FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi reported in July, the Rangers had interest in acquiring Aoki in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline, so they are probably a team to watch this winter as well. The Mets, who are constantly looking for outfield help, may be another team that could make a bid to acquire the 31-year old.
With Aoki's option exercised, the Brewers have three remaining free agents to worry about this offseason: first baseman/right fielder Corey Hart, left-hander Mike Gonzalez, and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.