It’s Nearly Closing Time for Cincinnati Reds and Nori Aoki


Aug 10, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals base runner Nori Aoki (23) rounds third and scores on a double from batter Billy Butler (not pictured) against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, a Scottish alternative rock band led by a red-headed singer, looked into the future and wrote the anthem for the Cincinnati Reds’ 2014-15 off-season. To wit, the Del Amitri’s 1997 lyrics aptly sum up the Reds’ current position:

"There is nobody here tonight, who doesn’t dance to the same tune as ILooking for that special someone new, and hey babe it might as well be you."

It’s not even the New Year, but most free agent hitters have already hooked up with new teams, and the Reds have watched them all walk out the door, one by one: Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Torii Hunter, Michael Morse, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, and on and on and on. Their hopes for landing an unfettered new left-fielder to take home for 2015 are dwindling faster than Santa’s bag of toys on Christmas Eve.  

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On the other side of the room, Nori Aoki has been a wallflower as the Winter frenzy unfolded around him, and he, too, has watched potential 2015 suitors bump into more attractive options on their way to the former Kansas City Royals’ outfielder.  Seemingly out of the market now are the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Minnesota Twins and even Aoki’s ride to the party, the Royals.

Sure, there have been glances from the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners, but the Mariners have already added Cruz, and the Orioles may envision Aoki as a fallback option, at least according to Charlie Wilmoth at

The Reds are looking through the haze at Aoki.   Aoki can feel their stare.  The only question left is whether they’ll lock eyes and make a connection, or just wonder out into the wilderness of 2015, alone.

As C. Trent Rosencrans reports at The Cincinnati Enquirer reports, Reds’ general manager Walt Jocketty says the Reds are more likely to trade for a leftfielder than sign a free agent at this point.  That could be because the Reds are cash-strapped as usual, or it could be that there aren’t many options left on the free agent market.

There is one, though.

Even as you read, Jocketty may be dusting off his copy of Twisted, shuffling through his Aoki baseball cards and warming up his voice for “It Might as Well Be You.”