Earlier this offseason, the Twins were rumored to have been involved in the bid for Japanese RHP Hisashi Iwakuma. Ultimately, they lost the bid to the Oakland Athletics, which led to some fans calling the Twins cheap despite the fact that the A’s paid roughly $19 million just to negotiate with Iwakuma. Well, these fans shouldn’t complain any longer as it was announced today that the Twins won the bid for Japanese 2B/SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
Without making any significant moves this offseason, the Twins would have entered 2011 with a middle infield of Alexi Casilla and J.J. Hardy. Not surprisingly, they felt that they could find at least one better player than either of these two, and currently that guy is Nishioka. This past season in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, Nishioka batted .346/.423/.482 with 22 stolen bases in 33 attempts. Unfortunately for the Twins, his 2010 season was by far a career best.