The Houston Astros front office has proven time again that they never sleep. As the Chicago Cubs were celebrating their (Long sigh) 2016 World Series Championship, general manager Jeff Luhnow was pick up a piece for 2017.
The Astros announced on Twitter on Thursday had claimed outfielder Nori Aoki off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
The #Astros have claimed outfielder Nori Aoki off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.— Houston Astros (@astros) November 3, 2016
Aoki, 34, batted .283 (118x417) with 24 doubles, four home runs, 28 RBIs, seven stolen bases, and .349 OBP in 118 games with the Mariners in 2016. He is in his fifth major league season out of Japan with a .286 career batting average. Aoki had an fWar of 1.2 and a 106 wRC+.
Aoki brings the Astros a veteran option to help fill a hole in the outfield left by a departing Colby Rasmus, rarely healthy Preston Tucker or rookie Teoscar Hernandez.
It could also be possible the Astros took a page out of the Padres’ book. The Astros felt the need to trade for a backup catcher before the 2016 season. The Padres got Dan Straily from Houston for Erik Kratz — basically nothing. The Padres had signed Kratz following the 2015 season. Like Kratz, Aoki could simply be a trade piece for the Astros down the road.