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Nishioka

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#1 Curt

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:05 PM

Nishioka was a career .293 hitter in Japan and won a batting title there in his final season. He was reputed to be one of the top fielding shortstops there. Wouldn't he still have value there? Even now? The Twins would have to eat a large portion of his salary but why wouldn't a team in Japan take him off the Twins' hands and absorb a portion of that salary? Top players there make up to $5 million per year. Perhaps someone would take him for $1 million? Does this ever happen? You would think Nishioka, himself, would find value in getting back to Japan where he could continue his career. In the US, it is hard to imagine him having a major league career. Anyone have any contacts in Japan? :D PS - I feel bad for Nishioka's translator. What a gig that was, sitting in MLB dugout every game.

#2 ashburyjohn

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:13 PM

I suspect that over in Japan the opportunities are not wide open - recall the lengthy negotiation period just to get rights to work out a contract with the player. Probably he can only be offered back to the original team there, and the Twins thus have zero leverage. You're right that maybe a $1M figure would be interesting to the Japanese team, but maybe (to resort to an Asian meme) the Twins aren't ready to lose face yet.

#3 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:45 PM

I'd be willing to eat the entire contract if we could send Bill Smith to Japan with him.

#4 glanzer

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:53 PM

I had the same thought... isn't Japan's professional league a step up from AAA in the US? Why not admit it was a failure and get out of the contract and go back to Japan.

#5 spideyo

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

Just out of curiosity, what do you guys think is the biggest reason he hasn't panned? Different style of play, heightened competition, language barrier? Slightly different sized ball? Two-year jet lag?

#6 powrwrap

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:22 PM

Just out of curiosity, what do you guys think is the biggest reason he hasn't panned? Different style of play, heightened competition, language barrier? Slightly different sized ball? Two-year jet lag?


He isn't a very good player. His fundamentals are all wrong. Look at his batting stance/swing. He steps out, transfers his weight to his front foot. Look at his footwork in the field, it's just plain wrong. He fields grounders with one hand, for gosh sakes! I don't know what the Twins were thinking when they signed him.
"Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."

#7 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:30 PM

I had the same thought... isn't Japan's professional league a step up from AAA in the US? Why not admit it was a failure and get out of the contract and go back to Japan.

I have heard it compared to somewhere between AA/AAA for what its worth.

#8 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:31 PM

He isn't a very good player. His fundamentals are all wrong. Look at his batting stance/swing. He steps out, transfers his weight to his front foot. Look at his footwork in the field, it's just plain wrong. He fields grounders with one hand, for gosh sakes! I don't know what the Twins were thinking when they signed him.


He had one fluke season at the plate in an otherwise very mediocre career, however I am pretty surprised that he has been THIS awful. At worst I figured he would be a decent Util player in the majors. This is just pathetic.

#9 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:33 PM

If I remember the discussion from last year, pitchers over here throw harder in general than over in Japan - he had a hard time adjusting to 90+ mph fastballs. It also sounded like they were less aggressive on the basepath, so he wasn't prepared for that - hence being in the wrong place leading to a broken leg. And, I think you have to chalk part of it up to bad scouting, too. $5M is not a lot of money in today's terms, but nobody except the Twins was willing to pay that - turns out everybody else was right.

#10 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:37 PM

MN can get rid of him if they want. Easiest way to get him to a buyout is to just DFA him. Nobody will claim him & knowing he's not on 40 man roster with no shot at re-reaching majors will make him more willing to head home. After this yr, Chris Hermann, Aaron Hicks, Kyle Gibson all need to be added to 40 man & he will be a casualty.

#11 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:00 PM

My guess is they'll keep him around - they're stuck with his salary unless some team wants to trade for him, and while he wasn't the middle infielder we thought we were getting, it sounds like he's making progress. All it takes is one or two injuries (Dozier, Caroll, Casilla, etc) and he might be back in the picture.

#12 Cody Christie

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:06 PM

He did help start a rally in the ninth inning tonight for Rochester with a double. But his numbers at Triple-A are still not very good...

#13 twinzgrl

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:15 PM

His failure to perform was just one of many horrendous things that went wrong last year for the Twins. I wish him the best but I think he'll be back in Japan after this season.

#14 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:37 PM

It's easy to Monday morning quarterback this move, but I'm good with the gamble. Yeah, we lost this one, but I'd rather see a team that takes risks in an effort to improve than one that either stands pat in hopes that what it has is good enough (or makes a bunch of Tony Bautista-type low-risk, low-reward signings.) Better to swing for the fences with the game on the line than get caught looking with the bat on your shoulder.

#15 snepp

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:41 PM

I don't care that he sucks, I'm just pissed that signing him meant they "needed" to ship off Hardy.

#16 ashburyjohn

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:09 PM

It's easy to Monday morning quarterback this move


I do not have the skills to scout any player. But it's not Monday morning quarterbacking, or second guessing, to say that this was a massive failure on the part of the scout or scouts who said "Yes. This guy has what it takes to help us."

It's good to swing for the fences sometimes, but not with your eyes closed, and this one pretty clearly was like that.

#17 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:21 PM

What did the Twins sign him for? 9M over 3 years? If that is the case, what? we owe him about 4.5M remaining on his contract. Shit, set Nishioka free. He will never play for us again or in MLB and is taking up a 40 man roster spot - choking up 4.5M is a lot better than what the Cubs have going on for them with Alphonso Soriano. It could be worse for the Twins.

#18 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:59 AM

[quote name='Bark's Lounge;26158]What did the Twins sign him for? 9M over 3 years? If that is the case' date=' what? we owe him about 4.5M remaining on his contract. Shit, set Nishioka free. He will never play for us again or in MLB and is taking up a 40 man roster spot - choking up 4.5M is a lot better than what the Cubs have going on for them with Alphonso Soriano. It could be worse for the Twins.[/QUOTE']

We don't need that 40-man roster slot right now - we're already 2 under limit. And if injuries happen, he is one of two middle infielders at Rochester (the other is Floriman) who have played regularly and could possibly step up. I think they'll keep him for the season, as injury cover, and then they can release him at the end of the year, if they need the 40-man slot for someone else then. Plus, Rochester needs decent players too, and Nishioka is holding his own there if not really improving. The PDC expires after this year, and the Twins want to preserve that working relationship, at least until that is resolved. Bad enough that we took all their starting pitching...:)

#19 Curt

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:19 AM

I was thinking this would be a win-win-win. Twins save a mil or two. Japanese team gets established starter. Nishi gets out of the minors and back to the (relative) big time. No one can be happy as things are.

#20 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:24 AM

I was thinking this would be a win-win-win. Twins save a mil or two. Japanese team gets established starter. Nishi gets out of the minors and back to the (relative) big time. No one can be happy as things are.


It makes sense to me. It's not as if the situation could really get any worse, could it?

#21 jlovren

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:49 AM

I had already forgotten about his existence, thanks for reminding me....

#22 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:55 AM

It's easy to Monday morning quarterback this move, but I'm good with the gamble. Yeah, we lost this one, but I'd rather see a team that takes risks in an effort to improve than one that either stands pat in hopes that what it has is good enough (or makes a bunch of Tony Bautista-type low-risk, low-reward signings.)

Better to swing for the fences with the game on the line than get caught looking with the bat on your shoulder.


The problem with over spending for a turd like Nishioka is the Twins already had a perfectly fine SS on the roster, that is the most frustrating. If they wanted to go make a high risk move then they should have tried to bring in a pitcher or a player that filled a need at the time.

#23 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 07:59 AM

The problem with over spending for a turd like Nishioka is the Twins already had a perfectly fine SS on the roster, that is the most frustrating. If they wanted to go make a high risk move then they should have tried to bring in a pitcher or a player that filled a need at the time.


Jesus, Dave... JJ Hardy hits way too many homeruns to play shortstop. Everybody knows that.

#24 cr9617

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:50 AM

Nishi isn't even worth discussing at this point.

#25 Musk21

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:54 PM

Nishi isn't even worth discussing at this point.


He still counts another 1.5 million this year and another 3 million next year towards the payroll, so yes, unfortunately he is still part of the discussion.

#26 jokin

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:32 PM

It's easy to Monday morning quarterback this move, but I'm good with the gamble. Yeah, we lost this one, but I'd rather see a team that takes risks in an effort to improve than one that either stands pat in hopes that what it has is good enough (or makes a bunch of Tony Bautista-type low-risk, low-reward signings.)

Better to swing for the fences with the game on the line than get caught looking with the bat on your shoulder.


The Twins organization was making excuses for the guy's incompetent level of play from the day he took the field in spring training ( I believe that's called a "tell"). Nishi's biggest break of 2011 was when he broke his leg. That enabled the FO to extend the pretense that they had a bona-fide major league middle infielder, meanwhile they put their bold gamble on hold, hoping to draw an inside straight, all the while utilizing a grand bluff on the public that it somehow would all work out, only to continue the excuses and double-down on the stupid with the move to SS!- where he was even more exposed- until finally Gardy was allowed to admit he was busted and folded his hand.

At least Hardy could fulfill your dream and actually swing for the fences with the game on the line- with a decent chance to roll a 7, whereas Nishi's fractured swing always seemd to shoot snake-eyes.

#27 spideyo

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:32 PM

Yes the Nishioka trade has turned out to be an utter complete failure, but honestly, I don't know that Hardy would have stayed wether they got Nishi or not. As I recall, there were rumors that he would be leaving the team before rumors started that Nishioka might be coming to us. Hardy didn't exactly do a great job with Twins in 2010 either. He was coming off the worst season of his career, and didn't improve all that much at the plate and actually did WORSE in the field. He hit 6 homers that year. In 2010, Plouffe was still considered a SS and hit 15 HR's in the minors, and 2 HR's in only 22 games with the Twins. My guess is that had Nishi not been signed, Plouffe would have come to ST battling for a starting spot in the IF and Hardy would still have been traded.

#28 The Greatest Poster Alive

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:04 PM

The Twins absolutely failed on this signing... but I hope it doesn't scare them away from Japan for good. Yu Darvish is evidence that talent can come out of that league. I really like the extra emphasis international signings have taken since the building of target field. One of the less publicized benefits of the extra revenue. I don't think the Metrodome era Twins take the risk they did on Sano.

#29 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 06:46 PM

Yes the Nishioka trade has turned out to be an utter complete failure, but honestly, I don't know that Hardy would have stayed wether they got Nishi or not. As I recall, there were rumors that he would be leaving the team before rumors started that Nishioka might be coming to us. Hardy didn't exactly do a great job with Twins in 2010 either. He was coming off the worst season of his career, and didn't improve all that much at the plate and actually did WORSE in the field. He hit 6 homers that year. In 2010, Plouffe was still considered a SS and hit 15 HR's in the minors, and 2 HR's in only 22 games with the Twins. My guess is that had Nishi not been signed, Plouffe would have come to ST battling for a starting spot in the IF and Hardy would still have been traded.


1. There was no "Nishioka trade." He was signed as a free agent after the Twins won bidding rights.
2. "Rumors?" The only rumors were coming from the Twins. Hardy was in his last yr of arb eligibility in 2011 and was under team control. WTF are you talking about?
3. Hardy hit .268/.320/.394 for the Twins. Not great, but pretty damn solid for a SS. In the second half, when he was over his injury, he put up a .304/.363/.442 line in over 200 PAs.
4. Hardy absolutely did NOT do "worse" in the field. Very solid SS.

Other than missing on virtually every "fact," nice post.

#30 glunn

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:44 PM

I would hope that the Twins would at least explore whether they could save some money by sending Nishi back to Japan. This could be a win-win for everyone.