The Minnesota Twins won the bidding for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka on Friday. The Twins have 30 days to come to terms with the 26-year-old shortstop, who hit .346 last season with the Chiba Lotte Marines to win the Nippon Professional Baseball batting crown. FoxSports.com reported the winning bid was $5.3 million, which is refundable if Twins can’t sign him (it’s sort of like Best Buy, but no restocking fee). A switch-hitter who can also play second base, Nishioka helped the Marines to the Japan Series title last season and led Japanese baseball in games (144), runs (121), hits (206) and total bases (287). An eight-year veteran, Nishioka is a career .293 hitter with a .364 on-base percentage and .426 slugging percentage. As if that isn’t enough, he also has averaged 28 steals per season during the past seven years.
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