The Minnesota Twins professional baseball organization announced last week that the club has reached an agreement on signing terms with infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka, a star infielder with the Chiba Lotte Marines organization of Japan’s Pacific League of Nippon Professional Baseball.
The Twins have signed Nishikoa to a three-year, $9 million contract, with a club option for the 2014 season. The Chiba Lotte Marines accept a Twins bid for negotiating rights to Nishioka last month.
Nishioka, 26, batted .346 (206-for-596) with 32 doubles, eight triples, 11 home runs, batted in 59 runs, and had 22 stolen bases in 144 games for the Chiba Lotte Marines last season. In addition, he led the league in games, batting, runs (121), hits and total bases (287).
The Twins completed the signing of Nishioka to a major league contract within a mandatory 30 day period. There are many Asian and Asian American players now in Major League Baseball but this will be the first on a Twins team.