MLB

Twins release Nishioka after 2 rough years

Share This Story

   
 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)

The Minnesota Twins released Tsuyoshi Nishioka on Friday, ending their experiment with the Japanese middle infielder after two rough seasons.

The move, which the Twins said came at Nishioka's request and was supported by the club, wasn't a surprise. But the way he went out was unique.

Accepting blame for his failure to produce at the plate or play capable defense at shortstop and second base, Nishioka waived his right to his $3 million salary for the 2013 season and a $250,000 buyout.

So they don't owe him any more money, and Nishioka is now a free agent. With guaranteed contracts, major league teams rarely are able to get off the payroll hook like this for players no longer in their plans. But Nishioka, in a statement released by the Twins, was nothing but graceful.

''I would like to thank the Twins organization for helping me fulfill my dream of playing in Major League Baseball,'' Nishioka said. ''I take full responsibility for my performance which was below my own expectations. At this time, I have made the decision that it is time to part ways. I have no regrets and know that only through struggle can a person grow stronger. I appreciate all the support the team and the fans in Minnesota and Rochester have shown me.''

General manager Terry Ryan downplayed Nishioka's generosity; the 28-year-old is likely to find an interested team again in Japan.

''It was probably the best thing to happen for both parties,'' Ryan said, adding: ''I'm sure he'll do well in Japan, and it certainly frees up some payroll for us.''

Nishioka spent most of 2012 with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, batting .258 with two home runs and 34 RBIs in 392 at-bats. He played in only three games for the Twins this summer, making two errors plus several other mistakes in the field and going 0 for 12 with one sacrifice fly.

''I think he wants to get into a situation where he gets an opportunity to kind of renew it and start over,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''He understands what happened up here. It just didn't work out for him. ... Just kind of get free of this and go from there. That's the right thing for him. Good for him.''

Signed to a three-year, $9.25 million contract before the 2011 season after the Twins bid more than $5.3 million to his Japanese team to gain negotiating rights, Nishioka broke his lower left leg just five games in to his rookie year when he stayed too close to the base while trying to turn a double play and New York Yankees slugger Nick Swisher slid into him.

Nishioka returned from the injury that June but never found a rhythm, finishing with a .226 average and just five extra-base hits in 221 at-bats. He made 12 errors in 68 games in 2011.

This was a far cry from Nishioka's performance in Japan, where he was the Nippon Professional Baseball batting champion in 2010, hitting .346 for the Chiba Lotte Marines and winning the equivalent of a Gold Glove award for his defense.

Ryan said, though, that the Twins aren't any less likely to scout in Japan after this mistake.

''We tried. He tried. ... Just didn't work,'' Ryan said.

---

Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

Tagged: Twins

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Your first half MVP's are... Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Jon Paul Morosi is joined by Eno Sarris and Joe Hamrahi to discuss the best play...

Joey Gallo Wins Futures Game MVP Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Futures game MVP Joey Gallo tells JP Morosi about his clutch home run and why he...

Your first half Cy Young award winners are... Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Jon Paul Morosi is joined by Eno Sarris and Joe Hamrahi to discuss the best MLB ...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..