Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the team will target free-agent outfielders Mike Morse and Nori Aoki this offseason. Jocketty also told Fay that he would rather add a hitter through a free agent signing than a trade.
Jay Bruce, Billy Hamilton and Skip Schumaker are the current starting three outfielders for the Reds, as they don’t have much backup with the departure of free agent Ryan Ludwick. The Reds won’t be going after the top outfield free agents like Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz, but they can fill the holes needed by signing a second-tier outfielder like Aoki or Morse.
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Morse, 32, is unlikely to return to the San Francisco Giants, based on reports. However, Morse has been linked to the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets in early offseason rumors. For the Giants in 2014, Morse played both the outfield and first base, while managing to slash .279/.336/.475 with 16 home runs and 61 runs batted in over 131 games. Morse was originally left off the National League Division Series roster for the Giants in favor of Travis Ishikawa, the NLCS hero, and Juan Perez.
Aoki, a 32-year-old Japanese import, has been linked to the Chicago White Sox and a return to the Kansas City Royals has not been ruled out, either. Aoki hit .285/.349/.360 with one home run and 43 runs batted in, while stealing seventeen bases (17-for-25 in attempts) for Kansas City. Aoki is projected to get a multi-year deal this offseason.