The Latest on Nishioka
The idea that the Chiba Lotte Marines would post Tsuyoshi Nishioka has been a bit of a head scratcher for me. I get why Nishioka would want to be posted, but it makes little sense for the Marines, as he’s coming off a big year, has three years left before free agency, and doesn’t project to command a huge posting bounty. And just as a general observation, postings are talked about a lot more often than they actually happen.
Then I read yesterday in Sanspo that Lotte made a conditional agreement last offseason to allow Nishioka to move to MLB. Sanspo didn’t offer any hints as to what those conditions might be, but it’s pretty likely that they were met, as Lotte won the Japan Series, and Nishioka had the best year of his career by nearly every measure. If Sanspo’s report is accurate, it would explain why the first news reports of the Nishioka posting were seemingly sourced from Lotte’s front office. It would also make a Nishioka posting a lot more likely. Another interesting point is that Nishioka was apparently moved to tears by the fans chanting his name in the 9th inning of Saturday’s Japan-Korea Club Championship.
The Sanspo report says that Lotte and Nishioka plan on coming to a resolution by the 17th (JST), so it won’t be long before we know one way or another.