(NEW YORK) — Building off their success in 2013, the Kansas City Royals have their sights set on 2014 as they’ve acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for reliever Will Smith.
Since coming over from Japan, Aoki has been a very productive hitter during his short Major League career.
In 2013, Aoki had 40 infield hits — which led all of baseball. He’s also stolen 50 bases over the past two seasons while hitting .287 for the Brewers.
“We like his energy, we like his work ethic. He’s a pro,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said when asked about Aoki. “We had a chance so seem him a lot in Japan coming up. …We’ll see how it plays out.”
The move will allow outfielder Alex Gordon to move down into the lineup to get more RBIs.
Last season, the Royals finished 86-76, their best record to finish a regular season since 1989. They haven’t made the playoffs since 1985.
Meanwhile for the Brewers, Smith went 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 19 appearances last season for Kansas City.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN