(WNFL) - The Milwaukee Brewers traded right-fielder Norichika Aoki to Kansas City today, for left-handed pitcher Will Smith. It paves the way for Ryan Braun to move from left field to right next season, so Khris Davis can keep playing in his natural-and-preferred spot in left. Aoki played two seasons in Milwaukee after coming over from his native Japan. This year, he batted .286 with eight homers, 20 stolen bases, and 37 R-B-I's in 155 games. The Brewers picked up a club option for Aoki in 2014, which makes him a free agent after that. However, media reports said Aoki and his agent agreed that a trade was in his best interest, if he was not going to play as much for Milwaukee next season. Brewers' G-M Doug Melvin tells the Journal Sentinel that they'll miss Aoki -- and the fans probably won't like the trade because he was such a fan favorite. But Melvin said the Brewers will get a good pitcher that they've been eyeing for a couple of years, and they'll control his salary for five years. The 24-year-old Smith has been both a starter and a reliever. He started one game and pitched in 18 others for the Royals in 2013, going 2-and-1 with a three-point-three-four E-R-A. In 10 starts at Triple-"A" Omaha this year, he went 6-and-4 with an E-R-A of just over three.
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