Japanese batting champion Tsuyoshi Nishioka and the Minnesota Twins agreed Friday to a $9.25 million, three-year contract that includes a club option for the 2014 season.
The Twins scheduled a news conference for Saturday to introduce Nishioka, 26, who led the Pacific League with a .346 average last season. The Twins submitted the highest bid, $5,329,000, to the Chiba Lotte Marines to gain negotiating rights to Nishioka, who can play second base or shortstop.
The Twins have openings at both positions, with J.J. Hardy traded and Orlando Hudson a free agent. One of their offseason goals was to add more speed to the lineup, and Nishioka is part of that plan.