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Aoki takes trade speculation as compliment

Special to MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki has been the leadoff batter in 85 of the club's 94 first-half games and has enjoyed some success, batting .292 entering Sunday with 19 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. That has the Texas Rangers interested in acquiring him, according to recent reports.

Aoki said he was aware of the reports and shed some light on the nature of baseball trades in his native Japan as opposed to Major League Baseball.

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PHOENIX -- Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki has been the leadoff batter in 85 of the club's 94 first-half games and has enjoyed some success, batting .292 entering Sunday with 19 runs batted in and 10 stolen bases. That has the Texas Rangers interested in acquiring him, according to recent reports.

Aoki said he was aware of the reports and shed some light on the nature of baseball trades in his native Japan as opposed to Major League Baseball.

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"Over here, teams trade for you because they want you," Aoki said through translator Kosuke Inaji. "In Japan, there's a negative aspect about getting traded."

As in, teams in Japan tend to trade a player because they do not want him on the team. But the perception is changing, Aoki said.

Aoki is happy playing for the Brewers but appreciates that his abilities are being noticed.

"You could say I'm happy that people see me as a player they want," he said.

Jose M. Romero is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Milwaukee Brewers, Norichika Aoki