The Minnesota Twins announced this afternoon that Tsuyoshi Nishioka is no longer with the organization. As Twins fans from around the territory rejoiced over the unconditional release of this failed experiment, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com added via Twitter:
Nishioka approached #MNTwins about the move and the club is not responsible for his $3.25 million remaining on deal
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) September 28, 2012
It was a classy move for Nishioka to walk away from a guaranteed $3.25 million, particularly after so much hope and expectation had paved his path to the MLB and Target Field. A highly decorated player in the Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, his early play as a Twin in his 2011 rookie season was shaky. He only made it eight games into the season before colliding at second base with Nick Swisher and missing the next 59 games with a broken fibula. Although Nishioka recovered from the injury, he never came close to meeting the expectations Twins brass and Twins fans had for the Japanese All-Star.
Nishioka’s release removes further monetary obligation from the Twins and makes Nishioka a free agent. If, when, and where he signs with a team could be interesting to observe over the next few months. Twins fans, however, will simply be happy if it’s anywhere but here.