Yakult Swallows announced that the team who got a negotiation right for outfielder Aoki is Milwaukee Brewers.— Yasuko Yanagita (@YYHochi) December 18, 2011
Awesome! Edit, brief scouting report (per Patrick Newman on Fangraphs): Norichika Aoki (OF, Yakult Swallows, 28) – In a post-Ichiro, post-Matsui NPB, Aoki reigns as the consensus top hitter. I’d actually go so far as to say that he"s the best pure hitter Japan has produced since Ichiro. Aoki is a line drive hitter with occasional power who uses the whole field. He’s also a disciplined batter, walking about as often as he strikes out, which is rare in Japan. Aoki is short and somewhat stocky at 5’7.5, 182 lbs, but is a good runner with tremendous range in the outfield. The only knock on his game is his rather weak throwing arm, which may limit him to left field at the MLB level. For video, I dug up some batting and fielding highlights and a breakdown of his swing on YouTube. Highlights (from above scouting report) Winning bid had previously been reported as $2.5 million.