NEW YORK -- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio made official on Friday what was already widely expected: The club will exercise right fielder Norichika Aoki's $1.5 million option for 2014.
It is an easy call, considering the modest price for a player who is hitting .288 with a .356 on-base percentage in his first 304 games in the Major Leagues. He hit a leadoff home run -- the second of his career -- against Mets starter Carlos Torres in Friday's 4-2 win and also singled.
"Yeah, we will definitely pick up Nori's contract," Attanasio said about an hour before the Aoki's home run. "Nori has been an outstanding teammate, outstanding member of the community. He's always willing to help out, doing things in the community. And one of the toughest outs in the Major Leagues. That's a matter of fact. He's very tough to get out.
"Our general manager likes to say that things will be decided at the end of the season, but I think Nori could go 0-for-the-end-of-the-season at this point and still get his contract."
Aoki emerged as the everyday right fielder in 2012 after injuries necessitated Corey Hart's move to first base. He is part of a deep stable of Brewers outfielders that includes left fielder Ryan Braun and center fielder Carlos Gomez, plus up-and-comers Logan Schafer, Khris Davis and Caleb Gindl.
Aoki's name appeared sparingly in trade rumors earlier this year, and figures to appear again in 2014 because he is a free agent after the season.
Davis leaves game with leg injuries
NEW YORK -- Outfielder Khris Davis exited Friday's 4-2 win over the Mets with a tight left hamstring and right quad strain after stumbling near first base on an eighth-inning groundout, another injury for the banged-up Brewers.
But Brewers manager Ron Roenicke did not sound concerned after the game.
"I think he's OK," Roenicke said. "We're thinking more that he was dehydrated, and didn't probably drink as much water as he should have. … I'm hoping he'll be OK [on Saturday]. I don't know yet if I'm going to play him, but hopefully he'll be OK."
Davis, who hit his 11th home run of the year in the first, a two-run shot, reached for his left hamstring on the play and walked off the field with assistant athletic trainer Dave Yeager. Logan Schafer took over in left field.
The 25-year-old Davis, who went 2-for-4 and is hitting .279 this year, has also been fighting a sore left wrist in recent weeks.
Attanasio finds encouragement in Brewers' season
NEW YORK -- Asked to sum up his ninth season as the Brewers' principal owner, Mark Attanasio could not escape one word.
"Unfortunately, the first word that comes to mind is 'disappointing.' I think we all know the reasons for that," Attanasio said Friday afternoon at Citi Field, where the Brewers are playing the final series of a season that began with a devastating series of injuries at first base, and hit bottom when Ryan Braun was suspended in July.
"That said, it did end up somewhat encouraging," Attanasio said, "both in terms of our wins, and most importantly in terms of how all the young guys have played, the ones who came up these last 2-3 months. It certainly is going to affect how we plan in the offseason. We did our full group staff meetings, and a lot of these guys are in the mix now, and I don't know if you would have had any of them in the mix 3-4 months ago."
He addressed all of his players on Thursday at the start of the series, a tradition since Attanasio's first full season in 2005. As he spoke, it struck Attanasio how many of the players in uniform were not there on Opening Day, a reminder of the tumult that marked the Brewers' season.
"Looking around, I don't think in nine seasons we've ever had turnover like that," Attanasio said.
Other topics covered by the owner on Thursday:
• When asked about offseason resources and whether he believes big acquisitions are needed: "Well, we can never have enough pitching, so we're always going to look at pitching," Attanasio said. "We've already been through the free agent list. There's not a lot of obvious candidates. Other than that, for a team that still ranks pretty low in terms of won-loss record, we have a lot of positions already filled for next year, and, in fact, in some cases, overflow.
"The budget is fluid. It depends on opportunity, trades can come up and you can increase budget through trades, too. You don't only do it through free agent signings."
Attanasio said he felt "very good" about Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo and Wily Peralta anchoring the starting rotation, citing the experience Peralta gained in his first full Major League season.
• On his role in Braun's character rehabilitation:
"It's really guidance," Attanasio said. "I think it's important for Ryan that he works through this himself. And, importantly, he is taking the responsibility of working through this himself. ... I would say so far, so good. It's too early to make any judgments on where this is going. I think we all need to step back and see how this goes. He's in the early innings."
Asked whether Braun would attend the Brewers' FanFest in January, Attanasio said, "We haven't talked about it. I was counting on having him at Brewers On Deck."
• On a challenging season coming to an end:
"I have mixed emotions, because I love baseball so much," Attanasio said. "It's very difficult to see the season come to an end, as difficult a season as it has been. It's been pretty fun lately. I was at the ballpark a few times at the end of the season, and it was a new experience to go to games that counted [for the opponent] -- but didn't count for us. But there was some of that tension and emotion in the air, and that was nice to feel again.
"Every year I'm fortunate to say our fans are the best. You talk about coming out, thick and thin. They were tested with 'thin' of biblical proportions this year and have come through as they always have. It made me feel terrific about how the team and the organization came forward."
Segura could return as soon as Saturday
NEW YORK -- Jean Segura's strained hamstring has healed, and he has a chance to return to the Brewers' starting lineup on Saturday, manager Ron Roenicke said.
"I think he will," Roenicke said on Friday afternoon, after Segura's encouraging running drills at Citi Field. "I think he'll be available today, and then we'll see if we can get him out there [Saturday]."
Why risk it with a player so important to the Brewers' future?
"They don't feel it's a risk," Roenicke said. "The medical staff feels that he is 100 percent, ready to go."
Segura has not played since Sept. 18, when he strained his left hamstring scoring a first-inning run against the Cubs. He is hitting .296 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs, and is tied with the Mets' Eric Young Jr. for the National League lead with 44 stolen bases.
Segura was well enough to attempt stealing a base if the option presented itself on Friday, Roenicke said. It didn't.
On a separate note, Segura and general manager Doug Melvin each said Friday that they had talked, and Segura will not play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, where he is the reigning batting champion. The Brewers want him to rest after playing, as he has not except for about two and a half months since February 2012. He has more than 600 plate appearances this season.
"My point, I wish [he could play], but their point, they're looking at the future and it's better for me," Segura said. "I have some people over there who want to watch me play, they want to see me on TV. I love playing over there."
He will rest instead. Over the winter, the Brewers may resume conversations with agent Joe Klein about a multi-year contract. Klein was at Miller Park during the Brewers' final homestand.
"We just said we would possibly revisit it in the offseason," Melvin said. "We approach guys -- some do it and some don't. It's up to them."
• Assistant GM Gord Ash said the Brewers' final Arizona Fall League participant would be right-hander Tyler Cravy, who posted a 2.04 ERA in 25 appearances, nine starts, at Class A Advanced Brevard County.
"He was a guy who was on the fringes, and he got a chance this year and made the most of it," Ash said.
• Ash also reported that Hart (knee surgery) had been cleared to begin running on a treadmill that bears some of his weight.