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Twins Win Exclusive Negotiation Rights with Tsuyoshi Nishioka

More on this as the details roll in, but here's what we know right now.

Joe Christensen broke the news just a few minutes ago on Twitter, and it was immediately picked up by other industry sources. Ken Rosenthal says:

One source estimates winning bid is approx $5.3M. Unconfirmed at this point.

...which comes in almost on the nose as per where people estimated the winning bid would be. Most have predicted Tsuyoshi Nishioka to receive about the same amount per season in his contract, although Parker mentions the possibility of $2-$3 million per year.

Nishioka, as we've already discussed, will be 27 for the 2011 season. A three-year contract, then, would constitute approximately a $20 million committment to a guy whose talent level is (at least as far as Major League Baseball standards are concerned) up for debate.

My initial reaction comes to a few main points:

  1. Nishioka immediately becomes the most talented second baseman in the organization (once he's signed...IF he's signed).
  2. The Twins (if he's signed) will have Nishioka locked up through his physical prime.
  3. There will be a massive learning curve for Nishioka as he adapts to the competetive environment of Major League Baseball. As tempting as it will be to rip on him, he's probably going to struggle right away. We're going to need to keep this in mind.
  4. This will be an expensive gamble. These signings don't always work out.

I have more to say, but I'll leave it here for now.