Twins Release Tsuyoshi Nishioka

The Twins announced that they have unconditionally released Tsuyoshi Nishioka at the infielder's request. Nishioka had been under contract for 2013, but he will relieve the Twins of the $3.25MM remaining on his contract. Nishioka thanked his fans and the Twins in a statement released by the team.

"I take full responsibility for my performance which was below my own expectations," Nishioka said. "At this time, I have made the decision that it is time to part ways. I have no regrets and know that only through struggle can a person grow stronger."

Nishioka signed a three-year, $9MM contract with the Twins before the 2011 season. The Twins are no longer responsible for his $3MM salary in 2013 or for the $250K buyout on his 2014 contract option.

Nishioka, 28, appeared in 68 games with the Twins last year but missed considerable time with a broken leg suffered early in the season. He has spent most of the 2012 season at Triple-A, where he posted a .258/.315/.324 batting line in 431 plate appearances.

It's rare for an MLB player to pass up guaranteed money. Royals starter Gil Meche walked away from $12MM before the 2011 season.

27 Responses to Twins Release Tsuyoshi Nishioka Leave a Reply

  1. Karkat 3 years ago

    Gotta respect a guy who’s humble enough to acknowledge he isn’t earning those millions and so passes them up.

    • Assuming he just wants to go home.

    • David Woodley 3 years ago

      It’s not like he won’t make millions in Japan.

      • Karkat 3 years ago

        He won’t make what the Twins were paying him.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          And he isn’t seriously injured (now) either. meche’s arm was in a shambles when he finally retired and had a reason to retire. There was the slimmest of slim chances he would ever get on the mound again.. Much like when Wayne garland retired, leaving millions on the table with the tribe after his 7Y deal when FA 1st began after only 3 seasons think it was.

          Nishioka, like many players from Japan still has honor and puts that 1st. Shame many from the US and other areas of the world have lost that part.

  2. David Woodley 3 years ago

    Sadly this is the best thing to happen to the Twins in the past 2 years.

  3. withpower 3 years ago

    I was surprised that he hit as poorly as he did in the show. He had some pretty good years in NPB.

  4. Jacob Viets 3 years ago

    Sounds like a great guy. Wish he could have stuck in the show

    • I don’t remember any hint that anyone had a bad word to say about the man. Just his bat, and his glove, unfortunately. The fault lies with the scouts and crosscheckers.

      • Jacob Viets 3 years ago

        I don’t believe there were any reports on his character either. It looked like he might work out based on his stats from over in Japan. I just don’t think he was able to handle the pressure of playing in the Major Leagues.

  5. Soxrok1 3 years ago

    Didn’t Keith Foulke pass up a ton of money when he left Cleveland?

  6. Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

    Another Japanese import that has struggled to translate their success in MLB. It seems like more fall of expectations rather than meet or exceed expectations…

    • WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY 3 years ago

      “Translate” haha…I see what you did there, even if you didn’t.

    • ima_robot_beepbeepbeep 3 years ago

      2012 has been a pretty good year for Japanese rookies. Wei-Yin Chen, Yu Darvish, Aoki, Iwakuma.

      • WeDontNeedToFinPracticeRANDY 3 years ago

        Can’t disagree with that. However, Dice-K had a respectable rookie season, as well. Hopefully that’s not their fate.

        Edit: Meant to make a note that 3 out of those 4 listed are pitchers. I’m not quick to judge any pitcher, Japanese or not, off of their rookie year.

      • VivaJackMurphy 3 years ago

        Chen is Taiwanese. Close, though.

        • Commander_Nate 3 years ago

          True, but he was one of the best pitchers in NPB before coming over, so you can say he was an import from Japan (in terms of league).

    • safari_punch 3 years ago

      Nomo was decent and Sasaki of the Mariners had some good seasons too.

  7. japanese players gotta respect them.

    • 1980CHAMPS 3 years ago

      Why should Japanese players deserve more respect? All players striving for the bigs should be respected.

      • Infield Fly 3 years ago

        You should probably reread what @Michael Nguyen wrote. All he said was that they should “be respected.” The part about them deserving “more respect” is something you added on your own.

  8. Someone can check, but I recall Mark McGwire forgoing the last year of his contract too.

  9. bjsguess 3 years ago

    What a stand up guy. Major respect for that.

  10. InvalidUserID 3 years ago

    That’s class right there that most other players, regardless of sport, wouldn’t have done.

  11. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    Class act!!

  12. Japanese newspaper reports today that GM of Hanshin Tigers Namakura started investigating his ability to contract 2-year, $100M / JPY 800M with him.
    Nishioka is worth of it??

  13. MisterBill 3 years ago

    Someone send this article to Jason Bay!

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