Tsuyoshi Nishioka To Be Posted, Come To Major Leagues

Japanese starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has already been posted and won by the Oakland A's this offseason. However, he isn't the only player who's looking to cross over to the Major Leagues, and according to Ken Rosenthal, middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be posted very shortly.

The 26-year-old Nishioka led the Pacific League in batting average last season, hitting .346 for the Chiba Lotte Marines. He also stole 22 bases while scoring 121 runs, and his 206 hits made for the highest total for a player in the Pacific League since Ichiro in 1994.

Nishioka is capable of playing both second base and shortstop, which makes him appealing in a down market for free agent middle infielders. And rumor has it that he prefers to play for a team on the West Coast, with a source specifically identifying the Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Padres as fits. Both the Dodgers and Giants are known to have some degree of interest.

Nishioka isn't known for his power, with 38 home runs over the past three seasons. He also batted just .260 in 2009, and .300 in 2008. He's considered by many to be in the Ryan Theriot/Chone Figgins mold. But that's still a productive player, and Nishioka should be able to find a steady job without problem.

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