Twins Rumors: Nishioka, Hardy, De Los Santos

The Twins won the bidding for Tsuyoshi Nishioka earlier today. Here's the latest on the infielder and his impact on Minnesota's offseason plans:

  • The Twins see Nishioka as a second baseman rather than a shortstop, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. If the team agrees to sign the 26-year-old, he'll likely compete with Alexi Casilla for the second base job and Orlando Hudson will likely leave via free agency.
  • From what Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune can tell, the Twins have decided to tender J.J. Hardy  a contract next week, partly since he still appears to have trade value (Twitter link).
  • The Twins removed shortstop Estarlin De Los Santos from the 40-man roster and, after he cleared waivers, assigned him to Triple-A, according to Christensen (on Twitter).

34 Responses to Twins Rumors: Nishioka, Hardy, De Los Santos Leave a Reply

  1. twins33 5 years ago

    Thank goodness. Now just get rid of that ugly “trade” word near Hardy’s name and we’re golden.

  2. rmalmstrom 5 years ago

    “Compete with Alexi Casilla”? I think even Tsuyoshi Shinjo could compete with Casilla for the job and easily win.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Casilla really did have a not so bad season. He had a horrible ’09 but not a bad season last year. Still though, I agree with you.

      Theres no way that if they pay him 18MM (just my guess including the posting fee) does he not get a starting job. No way. He has to get a starting job and if Casilla really impresses in ST, he or Hardy could simply get traded.

      • myname_989 5 years ago

        Agreed. I think Casilla is a very solid utility infielder.

  3. No Way the Twins are paying $5.3 million + salary for him to “Compete with Alexi Casilla”. If they sign him, he’ll play.

  4. yandz11190 5 years ago

    Casillas actually played more games at SS than 2nd last year. Wouldnt be surprised if these two compete for the SS job, with the loser getting second. Assuming of course that Hardy continues to be terrible.

    • There’s no baseball measurement that would call Hardy terrible. He hits like a league average batter at a position that traditionally produces the worst batters in the game. And he plays great defense. Being average at batting and above average on defense makes for an above average baseball player.

      • yandz11190 5 years ago

        Over the last two years Hardy has had a BA of .247, an OBP of .310 and an OPS of .684. All of which are bad numbers, especially his OPS, which is .70 points below the league average. In addition to this, his defense is over that span has produced a DWAR rating of .2, which isnt anything special. So yes. Overall he is a terrible hitter, with average defense, which makes him a bad baseball player, explaining why he might be non-tendered.

    • There’s no baseball measurement that would call Hardy terrible. He hits like a league average batter at a position that traditionally produces the worst batters in the game. And he plays great defense. Being average at batting and above average on defense makes for an above average baseball player.

  5. wild05fan 5 years ago

    The defense up the middle will be great!!!…if we had any groundball pitchers outside of Blackburn.

  6. I would have Casilla at SS, since that’s his “comfortable position” and put Nishioka at 2B. Then tender Hardy a contract and see what you can get. I’m sure Baltimore would make a play for him, maybe even St. Louis if they don’t get Uribe.

  7. This is exactly what I expected they would do. The twins front office is simply brilliant!

    • Now lets see what we can do in terms of the rotation. Pavano would be nice but not for the 3 yr/$30 mill deal he wants. I might see what Erik Bedard or Brandon Webb is looking for. Either would be a nice addition if 100% healthy and not asking too much. Plus Pavano would bring back his signing team’s 1st round pick. Then you got a Liriano, Webb/Bedard, Baker, Duensing, Blackburn/Slowey rotation. That’s not too shabby.

      • I honestly think Pavano in the place of Webb/Bedard is better than 1 of those two without Pavano. If anything, they need to resign Pavano and add another front line potential ace starter. This cannot be had affordably via free agency and even then the talent just isn’t there (other than cliff lee). So, if they are going to improve their rotation it’s gonna have to come via trade. I would look to a guy like Kyle Gibson to get a look as a possible 5th starter next year. He had a meteric rise through the minors last season.

        • There isn’t anyone out there in free agency other than Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb that are even considered as “aces.” Pavano was solid but he’s already in his mid-30s and I wouldn’t want to pay what he wants in years and money. And I expect to see Kyle Gibson called up around the same time Valencia was last year. On the Trade market there’s Greinke but we would have to give up Hicks, Gibson/Wimmers, Blackburn/Slowey, and Kubel. That is way to much for a starter who in my mind is waaaaaay overrated.

          • Twins should give the royals hicks blackburn and kubel. That’s a haul but we can afford to do it. After next season Kubel is gonna be too expensive to keep anyway. Resign Thome for 2011 worry about a long term DH after big Thome hangs it up. Grienke to replace Blackburn? Uh YES. Hicks is the prize BUT we have loads of outfield prospects in Benson, Morales and others. We can do that deal.

          • nick1538 5 years ago

            I don’t think that would get it done. Especially within the same division.

          • That wouldn’t get the job done. They want a good pitching prospect in return that is one or two years away from being in the MLB ie. Kyle Gibson. Plus I really want to hold on to Hicks. Switch hitting 5 tool outfielder that is only 2/3 years away from taking RF from Cuddyer, Uh YES lol. And Kubel will be moved in my opinion but I want us to package a good deal together and get a SP prospect from Oakland.

          • not gonna happen. Oakland already traded their extra stud starter for David DeJesus. They won’t be dealing another pitcher this offseason. In fact, if the A’s don’t sign the starter from japan they posted rights to then they will certainly not deal an ML ready pitcher.

          • You think Vincent Mazzaro was a stud? He was an average pitcher with little upside. And I wasn’t talking about ML ready, I mean one in the farm system that could grow into a #1 or #2 in the Twins system. It would take one of our OFs to get it done (Other than Hicks or Morales)

          • No and neither did oakland but the point is they won’t be trading any of their starters.

          • Why would we want a pitcher that isn’t ML ready?? We need to win RIGHT NOW. They are only going to be making moves to improve the ML club. The farm system is in fine shape, if anything the twins have the prospects to pull off a trade. Twins are one of the premier teams in all of baseball they’re not about to trade an ML player in Kubel for another prospect pitcher. Won’t happen.

          • why would the royals want blackburn or kubel they are considering moving greinke because their talent is still a year or two away they are looking to add to that pool not get middle aged mediocre major leaguers.

          • If you really think Kubel is mediocre talent then you really don’t know baseball.

  8. nick1538 5 years ago

    I think you need to keep Casilla, Tsuyoshi and Hardy for one simple reason: injuries. If the payroll allows it, having depth at MI is ideal, especially with Hardy’s recent injury history and Tsuyoshi’s injury history in Japan (prior to last season). It is also a plus to not have to rely on Matt Tolbert!
    Defense would be very solid with any combination, although you would get more speed from Casilla/Tsuyoshi. I know the Twins have made the statement that they want to get faster in 2011.

    • Casilla will play SS and Tsuyoshi will play 2B. Tolbert will be the utility man and I think that’s perfect for him. Hardy will be tendered a contract and then will be traded for relief help.

      • nick1538 5 years ago

        I would be happy with this scenario because Tolbert would be cheap and the money could be spent elsewhere. He is solid at 3B too, which is a plus.

      • They aren’t trading Hardy for relief help. If anything, the twins are in an exceedingly good position regarding their bullpen. Capps and Nathan on the same team?? No problems there.

        • big problem there so so Capps and untested Nathan and possibly Crain if he accepts arb otherwise theres cheeseburger mijares and AAA fill ins. Though I dont see them trading Hardy for relief help I expect a Hardy Nishioka infield and maybe Kubel leaving for a reliever.

          • Middle Relief will be the problem, not the back end of the pen. Crain isn’t going to accept arbitration but the Twins will resign him to a multi-year contract. Capps, Guerrier, and Crain will probably be on the roster come opening day (Guerrier is questionable though; BoSox might outbid us). Management wants to give Casilla another shot in a starting role so I expect him to have SS and Tsuyoshi to have 2B, leaving Hardy expendable since Tolbert/Plouffe would take over the utility role.

          • I’ll bet you 1 million bucks hardy won’t be dealt for a reliever.

  9. TwinsTapir 5 years ago

    A big thank you to whatever GMs weren’t smart enough to keep their mouths shut and pursue Hardy in free agency.

  10. nick1538 5 years ago

    In the end, if the Twins are looking to add more speed they would go with Casilla at SS and Nishioka at 2B. Tsuyoshi would bat #2 and Casilla #9. Nice group of speed guys (piranhas) at 9, 1, 3. I can’t wait to hear Ozzie’s reaction to the newest Twin (once he signs).

    • Who cares about Ozzie Guillen, he’s irrelavant. Casilla has a LOT to prove before he’s just handed a starting spot. Twins are a much better/stable team having Hardy at short batting 9th. Will casilla contribute next year, sure he will but he won’t be a starter on opening day.

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