Twins win bidding rights for Japanese hitter Nishioka

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Minnesota Twins have won the bidding battle for Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka of the Chiba Lotte Marines, Major League Baseball (MLB) said on Friday.

According to MLB, the Pacific League (PL) team in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball accepted the bid submitted by the Twins for negotiating rights to the 26-year-old shortstop.

"The Twins now have a period of 30 consecutive days to sign Nishioka to a major or minor league professional contract," MLB said in a statement.

Lotte management had already said it planned to accept the highest MLB bid regardless of the sum.

He became the first player since Ichiro Suzuki in 1994 to chalk up 200 PL hits and also led Japanese baseball in games (144), runs (121) and total bases (287).

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Ken Ferris; To query or comment on this story email