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Twins land Japanese batting champion Nishioka

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Minnesota Twins have signed Japanese batting champion Tsuyoshi Nishioka to a three-year, $9 million contract, the Major League Baseball team said on Friday.

The deal also includes a club option for the 2014 season, the Twins said in a press release.

Nishioka, a switch-hitter who can also play second base, batted .346 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI in 144 games for the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Pacific League of Nippon Professional Baseball last season.

The 26-year-old infielder also had 22 stolen bases and led the league in batting, runs (121), hits and total bases (287).

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)