MINNEAPOLIS – Japanese batting champion Tsuyoshi Nishioka and the Minnesota Twins agreed Friday to a $9.25 million, three-year contract that includes a club option for the 2014 season.
The Twins scheduled a news conference for Saturday to introduce the 26-year-old Nishioka, who led the Pacific League with a .346 average last season. The Twins submitted the highest bid, $5,329,000, to the Chiba Lotte Marines gain negotiating rights to Nishioka, who can play second base or shortstop.
The Twins have openings at both positions, with J.J. Hardy traded and Orlando Hudson a free agent. One of their offseason goals was to add more speed to the lineup, and Nishioka is part of that plan.
He'll be paid $3 million for each of the next three seasons. The Twins can exercise a $4 million option for 2014 or pay him a $250,000 buyout.