Victor Martinez has received all the attention, but he may not be the only player the Red Sox were outbid for this week.
According to a WEEI report, the Red Sox made a $2 million bid for the rights to negotiate with Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, but were outbid by the Minnesota Twins, who offered $5 million to the Japanese club.
Nishioka is projected to be able to play both shortstop and second base in the majors, and hit .346 with 22 stolen bases in 2010. The switch-hitter also led the Pacific League with 206 hits.
How the Red Sox would have used Nishioka with Dustin Pedroia firmly entrenched at second base is unknown. If Jed Lowrie were to become the team’s everyday third baseman, Nishioka could have been used as the team’s primary utility infielder. It’s also possible that his acquisition could have preceded a Marco Scutaro trade, as the shortstop has reportedly drawn interest from other teams in recent weeks.
If the Twins are able to successfully negotiate with Nishioka, he will likely compete with Alexi Casilla for their starting second base job. The Twins are set at shortstop after deciding to retain J.J. Hardy earlier this week.
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