The Twins won the bidding for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Christensen hears that the Twins won with a $5MM bid, but a source estimated to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Twins bid roughly $5.3MM (Twitter link). The Twins now have 30 days to work out an agreement with the 26-year-old. If the sides do not reach an agreement, the Chiba Lotte Marines will not receive the posting fee.
The Giants, Dodgers, and Cardinals reportedly had some interest in Nishioka and the Red Sox submitted a bid in the mid-$2MM range, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Last year, the switch-hitter batted .346 with 22 steals and 206 hits. ESPN.com's Keith Law and Patrick Newman of FanGraphs recently explained Nishioka's game in more detail.
The Twins' middle infield is in flux. They could consider trading non-tender candidate J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson is a free agent. Hudson could accept the team's offer of arbitration and return to Minnesota on a one-year deal or decline in search for a multi-year deal on the open market.