Associated Press reports Aoki details

The Associated Press today reported the details of outfielder Norichika Aoki’s incentive-rich contract with the Brewers, and it appears he will cost the team anywhere from $5 million to just under $11 million before it’s all said and done.

The Brewers paid $2.5 million to the Tokyo Yakult Swallows just to negotiate with Aoki, who agreed on Jan. 17 to a two-year contract with an option that guarantees him another $2.5 million. Aoki will get base salaries of $1 million in 2012 and $1.25 million in 2013, and the AP reported that the Brewers hold a $1.5 million option for 2014 with a $250,000 buyout.

According to the AP, Aoki can make $1,675,000 in performance bonuses during the 2012 season, $837,500 in 2013 and $1,087,500 in 2014 if the option is exercised. The bonuses are based on games played from 70-150 and starts from 100-140. Half of the performance bonuses earned this year would be added to his base salary in 2013.

If that makes your head spin, here is the AP’s bottom line: Aoki would earn $8,187,500 — remember, that doesn’t include the posting fee that went to his Japanese team — if he essentially becomes a starting Brewers outfielder for the next three seasons — i.e., his 2014 option is exercised and he has at least 140 starts and 150 games played per year.

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