The Chiba Lotte Marines have announced that they will accept the high bid for infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka's negotiating rights, tweets Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune. The high bidder will likely be announced tomorrow, according to a second Christensen tweet.
Accepting the high bid is just one step in the process; whichever team won the bidding will have 30 days to work out a contract with Nishioka, not exactly a given as we've seen with Hisashi Iwakuma. The Twins are said to be "very much in on" Nishioka, though the Orioles and Padres did not submit bids. The Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cardinals were said to be uncertain about pursuing him.
The 26-year-old shortstop hit .346/.423/.482 with 11 homers and 22 steals this season, though it was by far the best season of his career. In parts of eight seasons with Chiba Lotte, Nishioka is a .293/.364/.426 hitter. ESPN's Keith Law (Insider req'd) called him "valuable as an everyday guy on a second-division club," while NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman sees him as a Ryan Theriot/Chone Figgins type.