After a few days' worth of rumors that they were heavily involved, the Minnesota Twins have won the rights to Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Other teams, like the Mariners and Orioles, were rumored to be interested as well, but the Twins wound up submitting a high bid of around $5 million.
The Twins now have a 30-day window during which they will attempt to come to a contract agreement with the 26-year-old batting champion. The expectation is that he will sign for a few million per year, and something like $15 million over three years would not be unreasonable.
Nishioka is capable of playing shortstop, but according to Jon Morosi, the Twins see him as more of a second baseman. The team already has Alexi Casilla and JJ Hardy on the roster, but Hardy may end up getting traded, or Casilla may end up as a utility player off the bench.