This time, Norichika Aoki is available in trade

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In late July, I mentioned how the Mets and Rangers had contacted the Brewers about OF Norichika Aoki, but both were told he was more likely to be traded this winter.

Norichika+Aoki+Milwaukee+Brewers+v+Chicago+ktoZGyBtQcVlToday, the Brewers are open to trading Aoki for a left-handed power bat at first base, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The way Sherman sees it, Aoki could be Sandy Alderson’s every-day leadoff hitter, which would move Eric Young Jr. into a “super sub, late-game runner, double-switch piece.”

The 31-year-old Aoki will earn roughly $2 million next season and will be a free agent in 2015. He has played two big league seasons since leaving Japan, hitting .287 with a .355 OBP, and averaging 9 HR, 45 RBI, 30 doubles and 25 stolen bases.

Sherman suggests swapping Aoki for Ike Davis, who could become Milwaukee’s “left-handed power bat at first base.”

It’s an interesting idea, but — if I’m trading Ike — I’d want to first explore his full market, which Alderson intends to do at next week’s GM Meetings.

I still believe Davis can be part of a larger package that can net a more powerful hitter than Aoki. To waste Ike on a one-for-one move to get a leadoff hitter, creating a bigger need for power, would be premature. I think we’ll know more on these sort of ideas and rumors after next week’s meetings.