Twins, Red Sox Eyeing Nishioka?

3:32pm: The Red Sox are also in on Nishioka, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  However, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe disagrees (Twitter link).

8:25am: The Twins' Orlando HudsonJ.J. Hardy middle infield combination may not stick around for 2011.  Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune runs through the possibilities.

For starters, the Twins are expected to bid on Tsuyoshi Nishioka this week.  However, Christensen finds the team unlikely to win the bidding.  Nishioka was posted Monday, and the high bidder should be revealed next week.

Only one of Hudson and Hardy is expected to be retained, and Christensen writes of "growing indications" the Twins will tender Hardy a contract at the December 2nd deadline.  In an August 17th poll, almost 84% of you expected Hardy to be tendered.  If they keep Hardy and lose out on Nishioka, it looks like Alexi Casilla will get a shot as the regular second baseman.


78 Responses to Twins, Red Sox Eyeing Nishioka? Leave a Reply

  1. Rootdown 5 years ago

    Why do these Japanese players come straight to the majors? What have they proven? I mean for every Ichiro theres 5 guys who can’t hack it so why not start these guys in the minors? You can’t because it’s all about the money and they won’t agree to come here unless they get a major league roster spot.

    I think Ozzie Guillen makes more sense than we thought.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      It’s probably because the competition and skill level of the NPB is better than that of minor league baseball. Those players coming from across the Pacific are typically major league ready. I think of the posting fee as being similar to a draft bonus only in the case of the posting fee, we’re paying the Japanese team for the years of development of these players.

      Unfortunately, there is no tool that I am aware of that converts NPB performance to an MLB equivalency. Thankfully, the teams that are interested in these players have scouts who can watch them play and make the determination of whether or not those skills will translate. Not every top prospect pans out, nor does every free agent signing. From last year alone, we’re still waiting on results from Jason Bay and Chone Figgins.

      There have been 42 Japanese-born players who have appeared in the major leagues. Of those, 8 have appeared in at least 1 All Star game, which is a pretty good rate. The only real problem is that we normally only get to see these players after their prime due to the NPB’s international free agency rules.

      Teams don’t typically just throw money away at players they aren’t sure about. Those teams that make a bid will be interested in improving their teams and will think that this is the best way to do it. I’m not so sure why you are against it.

      • Rootdown 5 years ago

        I just feel like the Japanese players are so hastily given a Major League roster spot and penciled in as starters before they even play one out, while players from any other source have to go through the minors and work harder and prove themselves just to get a shot at the bigs.

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Not all of them go straight to the Majors (Junichi Tazawa, for example), but I agree, it does seem like a lot of them are overmatched.

  2. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Keep Hardy. At least he has upside, and is great defensively (+8 UZR last year – around +7 3-yr-avg). Let Hudson walk – he’s losing range and speed rapidly.Casilla has been up and down and up and down, but he deserves a shot. He’s shown what he can do over short stretches.And I hope to God the Twins don’t get the high bid. It’s criminal that you have to pay just to have the right to negotiate with these Japanese players.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      Why is it criminal? How would you recommend a fair way for MLB teams to poach talent from the NPB?

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        How about the same way we poach international talent from everywhere else?

        • Twins spent 3 mill + on a kid from the dominican republic last summer, how is this any different?? Whether you are drafting top US talent or signing international talent, there is inevitably a price that comes with owning the rights to a player. In the draft we call it a signing bonus, in japan they call it a posting fee. There’s NO DIFFERENCE! At least the japanese players have a history of producing at the ML level once they arrive, which is really the whole point. Watch what Yu Darvish gets in terms of a posting fee and contract and then watch what he does in the ML. I have no doubt he will be a top of the rotation starter right out of the shoot!

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            There is a big difference.

            We put $3M+ in Sano’s pocket – identical to a signing bonus.

            A “bid” for a Japanese player is money put into the NPB’s team’s pocket, and the player doesn’t see a dime. So you still need to negotiate a contract with the player – you’re just paying for the rights to attempt to negotiate a contract.

            Unless my understanding of the system is mistaken…

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            Nope. Spot on. I understand the reasoning from the perspective of Japanese teams (they don’t want to lose all their top talent for nothing), but it’s a pain for MLB teams.

            I’d hardly call it criminal, but it’s certainly a far cry from the signing bonuses for other international talent.

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            It’s mistaken because you are ignoring the rights a Japanese team has over a player.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            I don’t care if a Japanese team has “rights” over a player. The Japanese team’s “rights” should apply only to “rights” over other teams within the league – not to other leagues in other countries.

            It’s called “jurisdiction”. NPB rules should not apply to the MLB.

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            Are you a high school kid?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Clever. I clearly cannot match wits with your juggernaut rebuttal to basic concepts of jurisdiction.

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            So, in your theory, any Japanese team can contact Buster Posey because of this “jurisdiction” thing?

            Dude, if you’ve never seen a game of NPB, don’t even comment.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Yup, if Buster wanted to take the contract, he should be free to. San Fransisco’s contract with him only prevent other MLB teams from acquiring his services.

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            Nope. It’s an impossibility. That’s what both the MLB and NPB decided.

            By the way, you commented, so you’ve seen a game of NPB?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Yes, I know MLB and NPB have agreed to respect the other’s contracts. But it’s a one-way-street. NPB simply doesn’t offer salaries that make it attractive to players. Buster knows he can make millions more over the course of his career staying here.

            And yes, I’ve seen probably a dozen NPB games. Saw a couple live when I was stationed in Korea and taking hops across the Sea of Korea on R&R. I’ve also seen Mr. Baseball (1992), so that makes me an expert.

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            If you know the agreement exists, why are you ignoring it?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            I know it exists. I’m saying it’s stupid. Note my use of the word “should” . “NPB rules *should* not apply to the MLB”… “if Buster wanted to take the contract [in Japan], he *should* be free to”.

            Should is referring to the way the system ought to be; “Buster is free to take the contract” would be referring to the way the system is.

            Do you really need a tutoring lesson in what “should” means from a high school kid?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            I know it exists. I’m saying it’s stupid. Note my use of the word “should” . “NPB rules *should* not apply to the MLB”… “if Buster wanted to take the contract [in Japan], he *should* be free to”.

            Should is referring to the way the system ought to be; “Buster is free to take the contract” would be referring to the way the system is.

            Do you really need a tutoring lesson in what “should” means from a high school kid?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Yes, I know MLB and NPB have agreed to respect the other’s contracts. But it’s a one-way-street. NPB simply doesn’t offer salaries that make it attractive to players. Buster knows he can make millions more over the course of his career staying here.

            And yes, I’ve seen probably a dozen NPB games. Saw a couple live when I was stationed in Korea and taking hops across the Sea of Korea on R&R. I’ve also seen Mr. Baseball (1992), so that makes me an expert.

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            Nope. It’s an impossibility. That’s what both the MLB and NPB decided.

            By the way, you commented, so you’ve seen a game of NPB?

          • nietzschesass 5 years ago

            Are you a high school kid?

          • If only you were in charge of international soccer and basketball…

            In those sports, teams have to pay transfer and “buyout” fees to acquire talent from foreign leagues.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Um… no. The Timberwolves drafted some kid from Spain, and the kid said, “No thanks, I’m going to play in the European leagues.”

            Just because a team signs a player, that doesn’t give them international rights. It gives them rights to a player within which the team belongs.

          • seanbergmanrules 5 years ago

            Rubio said no thanks because he owed a several million dollar buyout to his Spanish team (similar to the posting fee) and NBA rules prevent NBA teams from contributing more than 500k to the buyout.

          • And in the particular situation, the Timberwolves were going to have to deal with the buyout clause on his contract with DKV Joventut.

            So, in principle, in order for the TWolves to have gotten their player, they’d have to pay the player, pay the team, and use a valuable early first round draft pick….

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Well that system is stupid then too. Call me a “radical free-market capitalist”, but I think human beings should be allowed to go wherever they want for work, and one league should not be able to basically declare “ownership” of a person internationally. When the MLB offers a player a contract, that should apply to all other members of the league. It shouldn’t prevent the guy from leaving the country and going to make a living someplace else, in some different league.

            In business terms, player contracts are like “non-compete agreements”. You’re not allowed to go to a rival company. But you’re still allowed to leave the country and go work in a different industry if you so desire.

          • You just said it perfect. In business terms, you’re allowed to leave the country and go work in a DIFFERENT industry if you so desire. So if you think about it, going from the MLB to the NPB is staying in the same “industry” which goes against everything you’ve been arguing.

            In baseball, a team can’t release you without having to pay your salary. So why should you be able to up and leave halfway through your contract to go to another country to play ball.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Why should you be able to? Because it’d work to our advantage. MLB offers the best player salaries in the world, so we’d gain a lot more players than we’d lose.

            I’d argue they’re different industries, because they serve different markets. MLB and NPB aren’t competing for ticket sales, merchandise, or television rights. They’re not competitors.

          • So everything should work to OUR advantage?

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            That would be one way of saying it.

            Another would be that we shouldn’t voluntarily enter agreements wherein we pay more money than we should, and we shouldn’t voluntarily enter agreements wherein we are at a disadvantage.

          • “we shouldn’t voluntarily enter agreements wherein we pay more money than we should”

            so if you’re team doesn’t think the player is worth it, don’t post…

            “we shouldn’t voluntarily enter agreements wherein we are at a disadvantage”

            which is why you dont voluntarily enter the agreement in the first place…

            You’re whole argument is saying the posting fee doesn’t make sense or however you want to word it. I see where you are coming from being all for the MLB, but you need to realize that the posting fee is a way for the NPB to at least get something in return. Think of it as a trade. Would you give up a guy like Pujols and not want anything in return??

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Well, that gets back to it being unfair to the NPB, because they would lose players for nothing without posting fee’s. But the MLB would be getting players at their fair market value, instead of essentially paying a tariff on them.

            Essentially this is a one way street of money flowing from the MLB to NPB just for the chance to talk to their players. I wouldn’t like it if I was the NPB, but tough cookie – they should pay their players more if they want to keep them. And like you say, I’m interested in what’s good for the MLB, I could really care less about MLB shipping money overseas to help support other leagues.

          • Maybe the NPB can’t afford to pay their players like the MLB can. Maybe their tickets are a fraction of the price of say, Yankee Stadium or Fenway. If they lost all their players to the MLB without getting anything in return, they might as well close their doors, if you want to look at it in a business aspect.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            Right. But it’s not the MLB’s job to be charitable to NPB. It’s MLB’s job to put the best possible product on the field for the fans who are putting money in MLB’s pocket.

            It’s selfish of MLB, yes. But it’s their job to be selfish. They should be trying to look out for their own customers, who are paying those higher prices.

          • There’s a reason why there’s a business relationship between the MLB and NPB. Both sides need something in return for a business relationship to work. It can’t be all one sided.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            What is the MLB getting out of the relationship?

            That’s my point. It’s a one-sided deal. It’s great for the NPB, but doesn’t do squat to help MLB field a better product.

          • When you sign a contract, you are committing yourself to THAT team. If you want to go to another country to play ball, you wait til your contract is up.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            But you can’t force people to work for you, even under contract. If the players wants to walk away from it (“Retire” as far as NPB would be concerned), they’re free to do that. The league can dictate you’re not allowed to play for anyone else, and the team no longer needs to pay you, but they cannot force you to play against your will, or prohibit you from leaving the country.

            Look at the Cuban leagues. They lose players to defection. Nobody seems to see any problem with that. But the MLB respects the NPB “bid” system, and I’m saying we shouldn’t.

          • Defection is completely different. Nobody seems to see any problem with that except for Cuba. The reason players defect to play in the MLB is because the government doesn’t allow them to. I’m not going to get into their government anymore so if you want to know more, feel free to look it up. Look up the things Aroldis Chapman had to go through to finally defect and be eligible for free agency in the MLB.

          • TwinsVet 5 years ago

            I don’t care if a Japanese team has “rights” over a player. The Japanese team’s “rights” should apply only to “rights” over other teams within the league – not to other leagues in other countries.

            It’s called “jurisdiction”. NPB rules should not apply to the MLB.

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            It’s different because with Japanese players you have to pay a fee just to negotiate with the player, THEN work out their contract. The A’s paid $17MM just to talk to Hisashi Iwakuma, and now they’re working out a contract on top of that.

            The Twins might have to pay $15MM just to negotiate with Nishioka, and then pay $20MM over the next four years for his contract or something (speculative guess — I’m not sure exactly what Nishioka will cost annually).

            The Twins paid a $3.15MM signing bonus to Miguel Angel Sano, and nothing more. It’s completely different.

            I’m not saying I hate the posting system as much as TwinsVet, just saying there’s a tremendous difference between the two. They don’t compare.

          • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

            I generally like the posting system as a fan of a team that doesn’t participate. I don’t want to get into whether the system is a good idea or not, but it’s not a remotely economical way to acquire players. I figured the Twins were smart enough to understand that, and am confused at why they’ve changed course this year. Then again they seem to be doing it with money they’re not willing to spend elsewhere, so it’s hard to mind much.

            Maybe they figure that one Japanese player will make that money back in brand expansion?

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I’m glad there’s a “like” button. I agree on all counts.

      The only problem is, sometimes the “like” button will not work for me! like now..

  3. Is it possible that if the Twins do win the bidding on this young shortstop, that Hardy is still tendered a contract giving them depth at the position and a future long-term replacement? Hardy can’t seem to shake the injury bug for an entire season and if this kid from Japan is solid defensively (I presume he is) and can hit with some consistency then easing him into a role on an already well-positioned team may be the plan. I can guarantee the twins do not feel entirely comfortable plugging in Trevor Plouffe at short if Hardy were to miss an extended period of time in 2011.

  4. optionn 5 years ago

    Why dont the Twins pay Hudson and keep him? They gave a guy who hit 8 home runs all year 23 million per year.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Yes, because HR’s are all that matter….

      Not saying Mauer isn’t a little overpaid, but geez.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        And optionn here just showed why we also need a “dislike” button.

        I never liked the Mauer contract (unlike the majority of our kinsfolk who only now admit it’s an ugly thing), but optionn here isn’t grounded in any reality.

        • twins33 5 years ago

          He definitely got way more than he should have because of 2009. I really wanted it to be no more than 160. So I was greatly disappointed that it was 24 more, but not so much that I didn’t want him on the team..

          Knowing what we got for Santana kind of made me worry about what we’d get for Mauer, if they had traded him. I was scared of another fleecing.
          .

  5. $1742854 5 years ago

    The Twins seriously bidding in Latin America and Japan? OMG the sky is falling!

  6. CommissionerBart 5 years ago

    Hmmm….wondering about a hidden agenda in not bringing back Hudson….wonder if what’s at work here is “dump Hudson, give the job (at least temp.) to Alex, provide us with a rationale for bringing back Punto in at least a utility role.”

    I’m not a particular fan of Hudson but in the 15 games I saw televised to my out of town location (40 year Twins fan here but alas not a Minnesotan), I saw him hustle consistently. Someone able to follow the Twins more closely may have reason to disagree.

    • I like Hudson as well, but I don’t see not resigning him as rationale for the bringing Punto back. I think the Twins simply need to make cuts to payroll somewhere and figure they can get as much production for much cheaper from Casilla as they can from Hudson. Lexi really stepped it up when Hudson got injured, and he’s proven that he can hit and play 2nd well. Hopefully he can do so consistently. Hudson is getting older, and though he is still a solid player, his range and offense are starting to diminish. I personally would not complain either way; Hudson is a great guy and really exciting, but on the other hand, I’d love to see Lexi get another shot.

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        In 2000 career innings at second base, Casilla’s UZR is -11.2… I wouldn’t call that “playing second well.”

        Last time we handed him the reigns and said “you’re our guy, go get ’em Alexi!”, he posted a .260 wOBA and was worth -1.2 WAR… forgive me for not being excited about the prospect of Casilla over Hudson, but I think it’s a colossal downgrade.

        The Twins simply refuse to call a player a sunk cost though, which is why we have trash like Casilla, Tolbert, Punto, Perkins, etc. on the roster for so long. Gardenhire simply won’t give up on players, even if he should. Maybe it stems from him being a useless utility player in his day, but it’s admirable to a certain extent and then just stupid after awhile. Gardy drags it out to the point of stupidity.

        Alexi Casilla has done nothing to show he deserves a starting spot since 2008. And after that great three-month stretch in 2008 that was cut short by injury (from which he returned too early and was terrible), he’s been useless ever since.

        I hope that we turn to Hudson, Nishioka, or someone besides Casilla or Punto for the first time in a long time… because neither is the answer.

        • To clarify, I meant this past year, not over his career. I realize he has not been the best defensively over his career, but from what I saw this past season, he was solid

    • twins33 5 years ago

      Now you’re getting me paranoid…

      I think Hudson was as advertised. He was a little more injured than I would have liked, but he mostly did what I expected. Hudson “should” get a multi-year deal, though I’ve also thought that for the past few years and it hasn’t happened. I think he could get a 2/10 deal somewhere, but who knows.

      If we see the good Casilla, I believe he can easily put up the numbers Hudson did this year and at a way cheaper rate. Though it is kind of weird that most Twins fans thought they’d be strapped for cash, yet they’re getting in all this bidding stuff. I feel like instead of mmmmaybe 5-10 million (10 was a stretch), maybe they have like 20 million to spend….

    • jhawk90 5 years ago

      Oh God – you may be on to something. The “Bring Back Punto” conspiracy! When called on it, Gardy will simply point to his Manager of the Year trophy.

      I need an imodium…

  7. birdwatcher2 5 years ago

    Tim, a clarification please. You write as if offering Hardy a contract by Dec 2 means Minnesota keeps him. But isn’t Hardy arbitration-eligible ? If so, and Minnesota fails to offer him arbitration by Nov 23, then can’t he simply decline their contract offer and become a free agent after Dec 2?

  8. birdwatcher2 5 years ago

    Tim, a clarification please. You write as if Minnesota keeps Hardy so long as they offer him a contract by Dec 2. But isn’t Hardy arbitration eligible ? So, if they choose not to offer arbitration by Nov 23, doesn’t Hardy have the option of declining their contract offer and becoming a free agent after Dec 2 ? Thanks for the help !

    • RahZid 5 years ago

      I’m not Tim, but I can help. Teams have until December 2nd to tender contracts to players with less than 6 years of major league service. For players who are either type A or B free agents, teams only have until November 23rd.

      Hardy is arb eligibile in that he has less than 6 years of service time, not because he is a type A or type B free agent.

  9. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Baffling.. Boston really seems to have little use for him with Scuttao signed. he appears to be a SS only, Lowrie plays every IF position except catcher, so they can’t use him as trade bait unless Scuttaro is the one to go, then Lowrie is still the reserve and they have to hope Nishioka can even hit MLB pitching and with Iglesias probably only a year away anyway.. This is just weird.. Sounds like reporters rumors totally unfounded to me.

    • tcaredsox15 5 years ago

      interesting that this comes out AFTER, Boston has been reported in talks for Justin Upton. Maybe Arizona wants Lowrie and Boston wants this guy to replace Lowrie. idk just speculation tho. dont think they would sign this guy unless they had something set to trade lowrie and/or scutaro.

      • PookieGonzales 5 years ago

        I’m still not buying that the redsox are into this. Just dosnt make sense at all.

        • tcaredsox15 5 years ago

          im not either, why would they want to overpay for a guy thats probably not going to put up any better offensive numbers, than scutaro or lowrie. And is his defense really as good as everyone says it is?

          • johnsilver 5 years ago

            That is it.. Scutaro had a bad shoulder issue last year and if he was to become the backup.. Just how would making throws from 3B be on his severely injured should if Lowrie is moved and Nishioka is signed even? SS is one of the deepest positions Boston even has at the ML level anyway, with Iglesias being the jewel and probably only 1 year away.. Is Boston thinking of moving him? i would imagine they could get Upton for not much else other than Iglesias and that either kelly, or iglesias’s name came up with the D-Backs if that was the case being speculated here.

            Interesting to ponder, still a lot of cash (would think whatever amount) to pay for a unproven talent at the MLB level and Lowrie has shown that if healthy can be an at least average SS/2B with power.

          • Maybe the team is worrying a bit about Pedroia’s progress recovering from injury last season? I really don’t know, it does seem odd to talk Nishioka with you have Pedroia/Iglesias for years to come.

    • derekbellstutu 5 years ago

      I agree. The Red Sox need to figure out what they’re doing about 3B and behind the plate. They don’t need a SS.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      Lowrie’s not of much value to the Diamondbacks. I’d bet more that the Red Sox would be interested for the idea of flipping Iglesias a trade. By all means, I don’t want that to happen as I am all about Iglesias, but it makes more sense than flipping Lowrie for Upton does.

      • johnsilver 5 years ago

        yeah, Iglesias and some more for Upton is what meant and Lowrie maybe somewhere else if they were going to move him. I just didn’t explain it well Obsessions.

        Agree though about moving Iglesias, really want to see him on the field in Boston soon, especially if he does hit like has so far at AA and even just did ok at the AFL that just ended. One would almost want to say move kelly 1st.. or I would at least.

        • PookieGonzales 5 years ago

          Agree. If they could put a package togeather like kelly, kalish, doubront,fuentes, and bascily anyone else they want other than isglacias……

  10. Rickli 5 years ago

    Orioles!!!!

  11. Dermick 5 years ago

    Correct me if im wrong,but i heard the Cardinals were in on the bidding for this guy

  12. It_Is_What_It_Is_Ormaybenot 5 years ago

    Why can’t the sox flip Tsuyoshi Nishioka? is there a rule against it?

    • Guest 5 years ago

      The sox dont have a contract with Nishioka yet, they are only bidding for negotiation rights at this point. And even if they did, he has yet to pitch in the mlb or any minor system so would have very limited trade value

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