With the Mariners set to bring Smith back, this could have huge ramifications for what Aoki does. Let’s just say the Japanese outfielder was extremely frustrated by his limited role in 2016.
Heading into September, there seemed little chance of Aoki returning to Seattle. However, he then finished the season with a flurry, hitting three homers and 12 RBIs, while batting .371.
However, despite the 34-year old’s fast finish, it doesn’t change how he performed for the majority of the season. Combined with the Smith factor and Aoki’s desire to feature more, the chances are he will go elsewhere.
Chance of returning: Low
Now it’s your turn – put yourself in Jerry Dipoto’s position. Which of the Mariners’ eligible free agents would you most attempt to re-sign and who would you willingly allow to leave? Let us know in the comments section below.