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Thread: Nishioka

  1. #1
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    Nishioka

    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?

    PS - I feel bad for Nishioka's translator. What a gig that was, sitting in MLB dugout every game.

  2. #2
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    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. #3
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    I'd be willing to eat the entire contract if we could send Bill Smith to Japan with him.

  4. #4
    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. #5
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    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. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by spideyo View Post
    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. #7
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glanzer View Post
    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. #8
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powrwrap View Post
    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. #9
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    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. #10
    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. #11
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    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. #12
    Twins Contributor Big-Leaguer Cody Christie's Avatar
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    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. #13
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    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. #14
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    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. #15
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    I don't care that he sucks, I'm just pissed that signing him meant they "needed" to ship off Hardy.

  16. #16
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
    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. #17
    Senior Member All-Star Bark's Lounge's Avatar
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    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. ****, 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. #18
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
    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. ****, 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.
    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. #19
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    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. #20
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    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?

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