International Links: Nishioka, Twins, Blanco

Patrick Newman from NPB Tracker and MLBTR's Nick Collias relay some information from foreign sources:

  • According to Newman, the Chiba Lotte Marines made a conditional agreement last offseason to allow Tsuyoshi Nishioka to move to MLB. This explains the otherwise puzzling move to post Nishioka coming off his strongest season, with three years left before he's eligible for free agency. Newman says the decision to post Nishioka will be resolved by the 17th.
  • According to this article (translated by Collias), the Twins signed right-handed reliever Yorman Bazardo to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 26-year-old has previously been with the Marlins, Tigers, Mariners, and Astros organizations. He's seen 60 1/3 innings in the big leagues, but hasn't duplicated his minor league success (3.89 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 5.4 K/9 in 1091 innings).
  • In a second article translated by Collias, we hear that the Rangers have told Andres Blanco that they view him as either an outfielder or catcher, but no longer as an infielder. The 26-year-old will work out at both positions in the Venezuelan winter leagues to try to earn another spot with the Rangers. In 68 games (185 PAs) this season, Blanco hit .277/.330/.349 while backing up Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.

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7 Comments on "International Links: Nishioka, Twins, Blanco"

4 years 9 months ago

I want to see the A’s sign him. Maybe the Padres.

4 years 9 months ago

Padres please!!!

4 years 9 months ago

First Takahasi, now Nishioka. Go Reds!!!!

4 years 9 months ago

Andres Blanco as a catcher? I don’t see it.

And why would they think him more valuable as an OF over a middle infielder?

4 years 9 months ago

I’m puzzled by it as well. The book on him was always “strong defender at the middle infield but doesn’t bring much of a bat.” At second or short, particularly as a backup, that doesn’t make any difference. In the outfield it typically does, and he’s never had great speed or anything.I mean, catcher COULD work–his bat would be pretty good for the position–but I don’t see any reason to look at a middle infielder and go “damn, let’s have him catch!” Maybe they know something we don’t. From where I sit now, he would have more value to an organization as a backup infielder–on the Rangers or otherwise–than outfield or catcher where we don’t know he can play.

4 years 9 months ago

Is it possible something got lost in translation in the article? I’m wondering if they want him to learn catcher and the outfield in addition to the infield.

4 years 9 months ago

He was the Ranger’s emergency catcher, but this seems crazy.