A little bit about Tsuyoshi Nishioka (w/ videos and links to player stats)
Word on the street is that the Twins will be putting in a bid for Tsuyoshi Nishioka soon. According to many beat writers; they feel the amount for just the rights to negotiate a contract with Nishioka could be somewhere near $15 million – $20 million. His eventual contract could exceed the posting fee, somewhere in the $8 million – $10 million a year range.
I think it would be a great addition for the Twins who are looking to inject a little bit more speed into the lineup this year. Some scouts say Nishioka could be the next Ichiro, others say they don’t know if he will be able to handle Major League Baseball in the United States. All scouts agree that his speed and range is amazing, he is also said to have an above average throwing arm. Last year he had a .346/.423/.482 line during his final year of baseball in japan and won the batting title. He also led in games played (144), runs scored (121), hits (206), and total bases (287).
It has been suggested by almost everyone that Orland Hudson will not return to the Twins this year and there have been rumors of JJ Hardy being non-tendered or even traded. It is quite possible that if the Twins have the money to bid on and then sign Nishioka; we could see a middle infield of Alexi Casilla at 2B and Tsuyoshi Nishioka at SS (or the other way around).
Here is a great article (link) written by the people over at http://www.hittingthefoulpole.com about Nishioka. It will give you a pretty solid idea of what type of player he either could be or not be when he comes over to America this year. Feel free to post your thoughts on the Twins chances of landing this Superstar from Japan