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Nori Aoki returns to Japan on a three-year deal with the Yakult Swallows

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 27: Norichika Aoki #23 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits an RBI single in the second inning during MLB game action against the Minnesota Twins at Rogers Centre on August 27, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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Nori Aoki has agreed to a three-year contract with with the Yakult Swallows of the NPB. He’ll make $9.19 million over that span. He played the first eight seasons of his career with Yakult as well.

Probably a smart deal for Aoki who, despite proving himself in Major League Baseball over the past six seasons with a .285/.350/.387 line, was not getting much interest on the free agent market and likely would’ve had to settle for a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Even if he made a team on such a deal he’d likely make only around a million bucks and now he’s guaranteed more than triple that for the next three years.

Aoki, who is 36, played over 758 games in his big league career in stints with the Brewers, where he had his most success, and th Royals, Mariners, Giants, Astros, Mets, and Blue Jays.

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