The Twins bidding on, winning and signing Tsuyoshi Nishioka may be the best business move Bill Smith has made.
"MLB's revenue in Japan, $100m last year, now accounts for 60% of its income outside America." - Masaru Ikei, a professor at Keio University and author of “Baseball and the Japanese People”.
It's possible that Bill Smith not only gets a great-fielding, good-hitting second baseman of the future for the Twins, but also taps into a huge fanbase that will be eager to buy Nishioka's jersey in large numbers.
Past experience of Japanese players in MLB.
-Dice-K pushed international merchandise sales up 15%
If Nishioka can get even close to those numbers, he could be a catalyst to actually help boost the club's payroll.