Twins Win Bidding For Nishioka

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 GiantsDodgers, 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. 


102 Responses to Twins Win Bidding For Nishioka Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 5 years ago

    Cool. Good for them…

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      Yeah, I’m really about this! Hopefully he doesn’t ask for Bernard Gilkey money.

      But I’m extremely happy this!!!! Yes!!!!!!

      • mauerfan 5 years ago

        MN made a good move I’m assuming then?

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          Absolutely. From watching video, scouting reports, and other things, I can tell you that this is perfect. He will be an absolute fantastic number 2 or number 9 hitter, and will be great defensively at 2B. He’s the perfect Twins player and I can’t wait to see him play this season!

          • ze3 5 years ago

            Dude, you totally called the Twins winning the bid. I tip my hat off to you, sir.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Thanks dude. Just doing the best I can.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    so since they want to see if Alexi Casilla can be a starter or not, does this mean that Hardy is nontendered? i think his decent second half of the season will draw some interest, especially if he also takes on a utility role.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      St. Louis Cardinals.

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        how much of an upgrade is he over Ryan though. Offensively, he has more upside but defensively, ryan is superior. Hardy will cost 5million or more as well. idk if the risk/reward is enough. if he came cheaper, than sure i’d take the gamble.

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          First of all Ferraridude, I’m confused. Were you talking about Hardy or casilla? I think Hardy would be an upgrade over Ryan because of going back to the NL and his power numbers, but Casilla has speed. Not sure

          • Ferrariman 5 years ago

            i was referring to Hardy. Casilla doesn’t interest me at all.

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Yeah I thought you were. And I think Hardy would actually make a lot of sense for the Cards. I like the idea of him going back to the NL and batting 7th or 6th.

          • Drew 5 years ago

            And I’d hardly call Hardy defensively inferior. Guy is a stud with the glove.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      That would be extremely stupid of them, but it’s definitely possible. Hopefully they’ll go with Hardy & Yoshi. Casilla can be utility, which he did well last year.

      I think any option that involves getting rid of Hardy is the absolute wrong move. He’s great defensively and he can hit when he’s healthy, which he showed last year.

    • Mauerneau 5 years ago

      No way they let hardy walk. If they complete a deal with Nishioka, it will be him at 2nd, Hardy at short, and Casilla in a utility role. Hudson will decline and sign elsewhere.

  3. mauerfan 5 years ago

    Someone give me the run down about this guy. Obviously he can hit in Japan but will he be able to bring that to the US? How’s his defense? Does he have a good arm?

    • There are “rundowns” about Nishioka all over the internet. I get the MLBTR is convenient, but just a google search would tell you all you need to know as far as scouting reports go.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      think chone figgins type.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        I like to think of him as a better version of Figgins with a ton more gap power.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      I’d assume good contact, little power, decent speed (22/33 in SBs in Japan). On defense I’ve read great range but a below average arm. He had an extensive injury history prior to his 2010 season where he put up a slash line of 346/.423/.482 but it was backed with a .389 BABIP. His previous career best slash line was .300/.366/.463 in Japan.

      • mauerfan 5 years ago

        Hmm, I don’t know what to think right now. The Twins have a good scouting department so they must have seen something in him that they like.

        • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

          He’s the perfect Twins type of player.

          • mauerfan 5 years ago

            Where do you think he’ll hit?

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            2nd behind Spanny

          • PookieGonzales 5 years ago

            I think he would be a ideal number 2 hitter. We’ll see where gardinhire(spelling) puts him.

  4. bonestock94 5 years ago

    I’ll be curious to see if he can hack it as more than a utility in the MLB.

  5. stlcardsfan10 5 years ago

    wow

  6. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    only 5.3million? really? ugh..cardinals couldn’t have offered that!? sigh…. i guess i get to look forward to another season of Aaron Miles type players.

    • mauerfan 5 years ago

      Do you think MN made a good move?

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        at a 5million posting fee plus about a 15-20million dollar contract, this isn’t a gigantic investment. I think its a medium risk/medium reward move. i like it mostly because of how thin the SS/2b market is.

    • jwredsox 5 years ago

      Yeah the posting fee was a lot less then I thought it would be.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        And hopefully this didn’t happen:

        Iwakuma: Whatever the posting fee is, demand as much money as possible like I did.
        Nishioka: Sounds good.

        I’m pretty sure that they have different agents, so it could very well end up that the Twins spend less money for higher value and talent.

  7. My guess is Hardy is tendered, then traded. SS market is incredibly thin and Hardy has a ton of value defensively and has above average offensive potential if he can stay on the field. Could net a reliever or two for the Twins.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      i don’t think he would bring much back. His 2010 was injury filled and not that productive, but the upside is still their i guess. if he is tendered, that means he gets a raise on his 5million salary. my guess is in the 6.5million range. He very well could and should be non tendered. All he would bring back anyways is some fringe minor leaguers, no one wants to give any good relievers for JJ Hardy for 1 season off a down year..doesn’t make much sense.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        I wonder if the Yankees will take a look at J.J. Hardy.

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      I would love for the Pirates to get Hardy if he were made available.

  8. jwredsox 5 years ago

    I hear he is looking for a Barry Zito type contract

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      thats crazy. He’s obviously looking for Derek Jeter money.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      I heard Gary Matthews Jr.

    • melonis_rex 5 years ago

      Forget that, an A-Rod contract.

    • Gumby65 5 years ago

      A Barry Zito contract… does that mean he wouldn’t have to produce for the first 2 1/2 years of it?

  9. JohnnyHamer 5 years ago

    Glad to see the Twins making moves. Can they go ahead and send us Hardy now…

  10. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 5 years ago

    Wow. Can’t remember who it was, but someone on this site called this yesterday, when he saw that someone working for the Minnesota newspaper was tweeting all the info.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      That was the Spandemonium guy. Really, Joe C from the local newspaper was the only one who was ever talking about this from the beginning. I don’t think any other teams writers said a thing. And most of the other teams seemed to have only a very small interest. I could have sworn that speculation was that only the Red Sox and Twins actually bid, but I have no clue if that’s true. So if it is, they had a 50/50 shot.

      It’s not surprising really, the very low bid is surprising to me.

  11. jeff7602 5 years ago

    I’m encouraged that the Twins won the posting bid, but I’m not going to get excited until he signs a contract. I could totally see a Japanese player say “No way I’m going to Minnesota!”

    • Are his options Minnesota and back to Japan? If he doesn’t want to come to the Twins, do other teams have a shot at him or do they have to wait until he hits free agency in Japan?

      • melonis_rex 5 years ago

        His options for next year are Minnesota and Japan. I don’t know his IFA status.

    • safari_punch 5 years ago

      Maybe he wants to go to the Mall of America?

      • twins33 5 years ago

        They must have lied their butts off and said it was great then!

  12. SteelCityResident13 5 years ago

    Dear Pirates, JJ Hardy might become available. He will also probably come cheap. There is a good opportunity that Evan Meek alone can get JJ away from the Twins. If not, keep Meek, pacakge together some minor league players and get JJ Hardy to the Buccos. Cedeno, I wish I could say I enjoy watching you play. The truth is I hate watching you game after game. You look like you are 12 years old and you have not become the player you should have been. Neal, get the deal done with the twins. If you are serious about turning the team around, dealing for JJ would give the buccos a great return on the small investment that will be required.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      i’d say Evan Meek is worth more than JJ. maybe Joel hanrahan as a centerpiece.

    • No way the Pirates should give up either Meek or Hanrahan for Hardy, they are both worth far more than he is. This isn’t Hardy from a couple of years ago, he is not worth nearly as much as he used to be.

  13. melonis_rex 5 years ago

    Does his agent have Twitter. Could be some comedic relief, ala Hisashi Iwakuma/Don Nomura.

  14. yankees should have bid on him instead of dealing with jeter

  15. BradyAndersonsSideburns 5 years ago

    Hardy to the O’s…make it happen

  16. penpaper 5 years ago

    So how far is this guy from playing in the Twin City? I know he is THE single season BA champ in NPL history but, realistically, can he come in just like that without going to the minors?

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I don’t know if he’ll be ready. If he’s going to play 2B then the only other option we have is Casilla. I think he can be on Casilla’s level right away, but that’s without knowing whether good Casilla or dumb Casilla will show up.

      If signed, he is basically the top “2B prospect” we have, immediately. Or as close as you can get to being the top.

      • If this Nishioka kid is a stud, like he looks like on video, then just think of what the infield could look like in 2012 or 2013 with Miguel Sano and him.

        • nick1538 5 years ago

          You won’t see Sano until 2014-2016

          • I can see him being ready for the 2013 season. Sano wanted to be in the MLB when he was 18 but Twins said go through a couple years in minors first.

          • I can see him being ready for the 2013 season. Sano wanted to be in the MLB when he was 18 but Twins said go through a couple years in minors first.

    • twins33 5 years ago

      I don’t know if he’ll be ready. If he’s going to play 2B then the only other option we have is Casilla. I think he can be on Casilla’s level right away, but that’s without knowing whether good Casilla or dumb Casilla will show up.

      If signed, he is basically the top “2B prospect” we have, immediately. Or as close as you can get to being the top.

  17. Hardy to the Giants!

  18. rico7961 5 years ago

    Why would the Twins even consider trading Hardy. If they sign Nishioka, that gives them a pretty solid trio of middle infielders. With Hardy being the starting ss and the other 2 battling for the starting 2nd base job. It also gives you pretty good versatility if someone gets injured. Unless someone blows them away with an offer for Hardy the Twins should definitely keep Hardy. With Punto and Hudson off the books the payroll ramifications should’nt be much worse than equal to last year. Which should be affordable to the Twins. Plus your other utility inf can be a minimum salaried player. Trading Hardy IMO just creates a very big hole in our lineup and our infield.

    • Drew 5 years ago

      The problem is, Hudson isn’t technically “off the books” yet. He could still technically accept arbitration (although the rumor is that there was an unspoken agreement that he’ll turn it down).

      If he does shock us and accept, we’re looking at FOUR serviceable MI. Then we might be looking at Nishioka at short and Hudson back at second.

      This picture gets a WHOLE lot clearer if Hudson departs as planned.

  19. dc21892 5 years ago

    Not too bad of a price to pay. This could be a win win for the Twins if they can strike a deal with him. He has the potential to solidify their SS need and or 2nd base for a long time to come, and he can create and Japanese fan base for the Twins. That will draw more people to them and help them become a bigger market.

  20. mnrunleft 5 years ago

    I think people are getting ahead of themselves a little with the idea that the Twins will DFA or trade Hardy. First they’ve got to come to an agreement with Nishioka which is no lock since we don’t know what his asking price is going to be. A lot also will likely depend on which of their own FA’s they think will be back, it sounds like Hudson has a gentleman’s agreement not to accept arb, and a lot my come down to if Pavano accpets or declines arb because that would be a sizable amount of money. It would be a big risk for the Twins to start the season with an unproven Nishioka and a unpredictable Casilla and little in terms of depth in the middle infield.

  21. rbeezy 5 years ago

    It’s really hard to judge this move out of the gate, more often then not japanese players do not adapt well to the american style game. Who else besides Ichrio and Matsui have ever made a name for themselves with a bat in thier hand? No way they trade Hardy just yet as Nishoikia has a long way to go before he proves he is worthy of a starting spot on a contending team.

  22. rbeezy 5 years ago

    It’s really hard to judge this move out of the gate, more often then not japanese players do not adapt well to the american style game. Who else besides Ichrio and Matsui have ever made a name for themselves with a bat in thier hand? No way they trade Hardy just yet as Nishoikia has a long way to go before he proves he is worthy of a starting spot on a contending team.

  23. Giants fans, what else would it take with Hardy to trade for Sanchez? Would either one of Baker/Slowey do it? Maybe throw in a prospect. Twins need another strikeout pitcher, Giants need a SS. Is there a way to make this work?

  24. Giants fans, what else would it take with Hardy to trade for Sanchez? Would either one of Baker/Slowey do it? Maybe throw in a prospect. Twins need another strikeout pitcher, Giants need a SS. Is there a way to make this work?

  25. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    Way premature on Hardy being traded or non-tendered. We won’t know until February, when the market shakes out, the Twins see Casilla’s winter work, Hudson has declined, and the club gets an idea of Hardy’s arbitration figure.

    Chances are good that even Nishioka comes to a deal, he would need some time to adjust to MLB heat. Having Hardy at SS is a critical insurance policy, instead of testing out both Casilla and Nishioka as the full-time MI on April 1st.

    The Twins front office is big on Hardy. They’ve seen flashes of his All-Star form when he’s healthy, and they’re not just going to give him up for nothing anytime soon.

    • Bye Bye Baby Bonanza 5 years ago

      December 2nd – Deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players.

      Should have a better idea of what the Twins plan is with Hardy.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        Right. Hell be tendered in all likelihood – feb before he’s traded if at all.

  26. Bernaldo 5 years ago

    Why this excitement for an oft-injured, weak-armed middle infielder who has had one really good year in Japan (essentially AAA caliber ball) and is going to cost the Twins a bundle better spent elsewhere in my opinion? With a $5 million posting fee and then a contract likely several years in the $4-5 million range, this is way too much money for an untried 2B who is not the second coming of Ryne Sandberg. Everything about this guy hints that he is most comparable to Kei Igawa. I don’t like this move at all and while I hope that I am wrong, I don’t see any value here unless Mr. Nishioka is indeed the next Ichiro.

    • TwinsTapir 5 years ago

      I think we’re more excited that our team is doing something on a par with the other grownups than so much about Nishioka specifically. Sure, he could be a bust, but if the Twins’ scouts have seen something they like I’m willing to give them a chance to be right. Twins waste five to ten million most years anyway, better take a flyer on a Japanese middle infielder than give it to the likes of Tony Batista.

      Alternately, look at it as Nishioka taking Punto’s spot in the budget, and he doesn’t have to be phenomenal to be an improvement.

  27. Thinking Hudson accepts arbitration. He’s played the waiting game two years in a row now and it hasn’t really benefited him. Plus he’s coming off one of his worst years at the plate, I can’t see a lot of teams offering him a multiyear deal.

    I expect Hardy gets traded or non-tendered simply due to injury concerns. Leaving NIshioka at his most natural position, shortstop. That is, if they can come to an agreement.

  28. Thinking Hudson accepts arbitration. He’s played the waiting game two years in a row now and it hasn’t really benefited him. Plus he’s coming off one of his worst years at the plate, I can’t see a lot of teams offering him a multiyear deal.

    I expect Hardy gets traded or non-tendered simply due to injury concerns. Leaving NIshioka at his most natural position, shortstop. That is, if they can come to an agreement.

  29. I watched a highlight video of him: see below. Wow this looks like the prototypical twins player. Fast, hits for contact with some pop, extremely solid defensively and does not take a play off. I’m excited for the Twins with this move!

    link to youtube.com

  30. I watched a highlight video of him: see below. Wow this looks like the prototypical twins player. Fast, hits for contact with some pop, extremely solid defensively and does not take a play off. I’m excited for the Twins with this move!

    link to youtube.com

  31. IMO here’s what should happen. Nishioka to second, Hardy stays at SS, Alexi stays as a utility infielder. Tolbert sent packing.

    It would be a dream off season to be rid of PUNTO AND TOLBERT.

    Casilla has proven more than once he can’t handle playing everyday.

    • I personally like Tolbert. I like his versatility, I like his eye at the plate, I like how he never takes a play off, and he knows his role. He knows what he is and is fine with it. Plus he’s cheap.

  32. It will end up being Nishioka at 2B and Casilla at his “comfortable position” SS. Management thinks that Casilla has played good enough in the utility role to be given a chance to start again. Hardy will be given a contract and then I think we (I’m a Twins fan) trade him to Baltimore or Pittsburgh for relief help. I’d love to see the Twins infield in a few more years when we call up Miguel Sano!

  33. It will end up being Nishioka at 2B and Casilla at his “comfortable position” SS. Management thinks that Casilla has played good enough in the utility role to be given a chance to start again. Hardy will be given a contract and then I think we (I’m a Twins fan) trade him to Baltimore or Pittsburgh for relief help. I’d love to see the Twins infield in a few more years when we call up Miguel Sano!

  34. rico7961 5 years ago

    For anybody who has any doubts about the Twins making this attempt. If they do sign Nishioka it will cost about the same as what we were paying LNP. How can it be anything but a win-win situation for the Twins. Punto is gone and we give this guy a chance to prove himself. Good decision by the Twins FO. He can’t be any worse than Punto, can he?

    • Drew 5 years ago

      I do get you’re saying here, but this isn’t REALLY a straight up Nishioka for Punto kind of thing. An alternative would have been signing NEITHER and being able to retain Thome or another important piece.

      • Who said we still can’t retain Thome? We let Punto walk, that’s $5 million that we saved. We let O.Hudson leave and we will get a draft pick back as well and that saved close to $6 million. Now we’ll have Casilla and Nishioka as the starting middle infielders and Plouffe or Tolbert as utility. That makes Hardy expendable via trade or non-tender and he was set to make close to $6 million. We could sign Thome back easily.

  35. firealyellon 5 years ago

    i have already fallen in love with Nishioka’s scrappy, bunt-hitting, piranha-esque play. with any luck, he even has an understanding of the value of the head-first slide into 1st base.

  36. nick1538 5 years ago

    I think the Twins understand the value of depth at MI. With a stable of young players with potential, something good should happen. Casilla, Hardy, Nishioka, Plouffe and even Tolbert give the Twins options for 2B/SS/Util.

  37. Look at all the Twins fans getting worked up over the second coming of Kaz Matsui.

    • Ichiro of the infield…watch.

    • nick1538 5 years ago

      Even Kaz posted a few good years (2007 & 2008). He was 29 when he started with the Mets and was never the same level of talent. So yes, there is reason to get excited.

  38. Look at all the Twins fans getting worked up over the second coming of Kaz Matsui.

  39. xXdiggletreeXx 5 years ago

    No stealing Nishioka from my giants who won the world series huh? huh?

  40. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    if i were to guess, Nishioka’s camp will use Chone Figgin’s contract as a comparison while the twins will counter with a Marco Scutaro deal and they eventually find middle ground with something in the 20-25million range at 3-4 years.

  41. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    I don’t think the club ever planned on keeping O around beyond last year. Jj, on the other hand, was always a long term solution.

    Just throwing it out there, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see hardy get a 3/15m extension offer.

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