Twins Sign Nishioka for Three Years

16 Dec

This afternoon, SI’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the Twins had signed infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a three year, $10.5 million contract. It was the day after Thanksgiving when it was announced that the Twins had won exclusive rights to negotiate with Nishioka. Now that he has signed, Chiba Lotte will receive the $5+ million posting fee.

Once MLB Trade Rumors posted a tweet that the deal was done, former big leaguers CJ Nitkowski, who spent a spring training with the Twins and has pitched in Japan in recent years, tweeted the following:

CJNitkowski – AAA & AAAA middle infielders are wishing they were Japanese imports tonight RT @mlbtraderumors: Twins, Nishioka Agree To 3/$10M Deal.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for Nishioka, I would say. But Twins officials and scouts are happy to have him in the fold. He will likely start the season as the Twins second baseman.

Nishioka had flown from Japan to Minneapolis and arrived late this morning. It was clear that the signing would likely take place quickly since he was coming to town. Likely the sides had agreed in principle on the deal before flight arrangements were made. I guess things like telephones, e-mail, the internet and video conference work pretty well, right?

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