Tag:Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Posted on: November 12, 2010 2:04 pm

Giants, Dodgers interested in Nishioka

Tsuyoshi Nishioka The Giants and the Dodgers could be interested in Japanese middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, FanHouse's Tom Krasovic tweets .

According to an MLB source, Nishioka's posting fee could top $4 million. That money goes straight to his Japanese team, the Chiba Lotte Marines, and to the top bidder, who then has exclusive bargain rights for the player.

Nishioka played shortstop for the Marines, but may project more as a second baseman here. Nishioka, 26, had 206 hits in 2010 and hit .346/.423/.481 with 11 homers as the Marines' leadoff man.

Nishioka has reportedly said he'd prefer to play on the West Coast, specifically with the Dodgers. He isn't expected to be posted until after the Marines' game against the Korean champions on Saturday at the Tokyo Dome.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 9:32 am
Edited on: November 10, 2010 11:27 am

Japanese stars eye MLB

Hiroyuki Kobayashi, the closer for the Japan Series-champion Chiba Lotte Marines, has decided to exercise his international free-agent option to pursue playing in the United States (or, you know, with the Blue Jays), the Kyodo News reports .

Kobayashi, 32, had 29 saves and a 2.21 ERA this season.

Several teams are looking for closers, and Kobayashi is a right-hander without an overpowering fastball, but throws four pitches. He struck out 53 in 61 innings last season, his first as a closer. In 2009, he went 4-13 with a 4.29 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 134 1/3 innings. He had a 71-66 record as a starter. He was also a member of Japan's 2006 World Baseball Classic team.

Because he is eligible for international free agency, he will not have to go through the posting system.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka UPDATE: Kobayashi's teammate, switch-hitting shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka is also looking toward Major League Baseball. However, Nishioka, 26, will go through the posting system.

"In the end I was able to win a Japan Series title and that was a defining point for me," Nishioka (pictured) told the Kyodo News . "Now I want to pursue my childhood dream."

Nishioka became the second Pacific League player to record 200 hits, with 206 this season. He hit .346/.423/.481 with 11 home runs as the Marines' leadoff man.

Nishioka would prefer to play for the Dodgers, a source tells the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez . However, going through the posting system, Nishioka has zero choice on his team. Nishioka would prefer to play on the West Coast, Hernandez writes.

The Kyodo News report says Nishioka could be posted as early as today.

UPDATE: The Asahi Shimbun (via NPB Tracker on Twitter ) reports the Marines will meet Nishioka about the posting on Saturday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 8, 2010 9:13 pm

Report: Japanese batting champ to be posted

Tsuyoshi Nishioka
Tsuyoshi Nishioka, the Pacific League batting champion who just won the Japan Series with the Chiba Lotte Marines, will be posted for U.S. teams this week, a source tells ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian.

Nishioka, a 26-year-old switch-hitting shortstop (switch-hitting is rare in Japan), batted .346 this season with 206 hits, the most in the Pacific League since Ichiro Suzuki in 1994.

"He is a good player, he is a talented kid," said Bobby Valentine, who managed Nishioka in Japan. "If he had been a college kid four or five years ago, he would have been a first-round pick. He runs faster than a lot of people. ... He is still developing physically and mentally. And this year, he stayed healthy all year. He has style issues, positive and negative: he likes to be noticed. How he develops will depend on what team signs him."

That sounds a lot like the book on Ichiro when he was posted in 2000, though Nishioka doesn't have the track record Ichiro had and has a reputation as injury-prone. With a thin middle infield market, however, there are sure to be some interested teams.

The posting process involves U.S. teams submitting blind bids to the Marines, who will decide whether the top offer is acceptable. If they accept it, they grant the winning bidder a 30-day window to work out a contract with Nishioka. If the U.S. team signs him, the Marines keep the posting bid. If not, he returns to the Marines and the bid money is returned.

-- David Andriesen

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