The Twins paid a $5.3 million posting fee to get Nishioka, a 24 year-old shortstop from Chiba-Lotte in the Japanese league, and MLB Trade Rumors reported yesterday that he was looking for four years, $12 million.
When I first read that he was going to be posted, I thought it'd be interesting for the Royals, but since I know nothing about the process or how much it would've cost, I just blew it off. But by all accounts he is an above-average defensive shortstop who can hit, is 24, and would cost a total of $17.3 million over four years ($4.5-ish/year). And he isn't Yuniesky Betancourt, who will cost us $4 million next year and (God help us if his option is picked up) a $2 million buyout in 2012.
His career slash-line in a shade over 1600 plate appearances is .287/.361/.427 and he's stolen 71 bases in three years, though he has been caught 34 times.
Did I mention he was 24?
And isn't Yuniesky Betancourt.
I believe the posting system is confidential, so it's entirely possible the Royals DID bid on him. For every Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui there is a Hideki Irabu (or two), and I'm not usually one to armchair quarterback and second guess things, but suffice it to say I would've been pleased if we landed him.