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Tsuyoshi Nishioka heads back to Japan

Nov 19, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Tsuyoshi Nishioka Getty Images

Released by the Twins two months ago after agreeing to forfeit the final $3.25 million of his contract, Tsuyoshi Nishioka has returned to Japan by signing a two-year contract with the Hanshin Tigers.

Nishioka was a huge bust in Minnesota, hitting .215 with a .503 OPS while playing terrible defense at both shortstop and second base, and spent most of his two seasons on the disabled list or at Triple-A.

However, before signing with the Twins he was a star in Japan, winning the batting title and a Gold Glove award during his final season there, and Nishioka returns at age 28. His contract is reportedly worth 600 million yen, which is the equivalent of around 7.5 million dollars. If that’s accurate, Nishioka will make more in Japan than he would have in America.

  1. samu0034 - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Good for him. Can’t fault him for wanting to come over here and give it a shot in MLB. Too bad for his and the Twins’ sake that it didn’t work out better.

  2. plmathfoto - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    The hitting was bad enough, but the gold glove is really questionable, can’t imagine how he got one there.

  3. dcfan4life - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    On all accounts it always seemed the problem with this guy was mental. No friends, family, language barrier, totally uncomfortable from day one, alienated at every turn, so badly he gave back guaranteed money to get out of that situation. Wouldn’t be surprised if he does far better in Japan. Course no one will notice or care since he is never coming back…

  4. JB (the original) - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    The difference is so “night and day” that it makes me wonder if we didn’t have a “Prince and the Pauper” routine going on. The “real” Nishi took 2 years off enjoying life in anonymity, while his stand-in “No-shi” came to the US and stunk it up for a year and a half. Now, refreshed Nishi will go back and hammer the Japanese league.

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