Joe C. at the Strib reports that the excellently-named Chiba Lotte Marines have accepted the highest bid for 26-year-old shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and the winning suitor will be announced today. As noted here and elsewhere, the Twins are among the front-runners for Nishioka, who won the Japanese Pacific League batting title in 2010. Besides filling a need up the middle, acquiring Nishioka provides endless hours of hilarity for Twins fans, who will get to listen to Sid Hartman, John Gordon and Bert Blyleven brutalize the pronunciation of his name.
In other middle infielder news that doesn't affect the Twins but has the benefit of being hilarious, Derek Jeter's initial contract demand was six years, $150 million. Because when you get the chance to lock down an aging shortstop with a diminishing skill set, YOU GOTTA DO IT.