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  1. Not only did Nishioka wash out, his signing prompted the Twins to deal JJ Hardy to the Orioles. Kind of a lose-lose situation (except for the Orioles).

    Comment by CatcheroftheWry — September 28, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  2. I thought MLB contracts like his were guaranteed, meaning that even if released, he would be paid the $3 million he is owed for 2013(plus the buyout for 2014). Is is that he is voluntarily giving back the $3 million(plus the buyout), or does asking for one’s unconditional release mean they surrender the money? If so, I was unaware of such a rule. :)

    Comment by Jim — September 28, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  3. That should be, “Is it that he is…” in my 2nd sentence, obviously. ;)

    Comment by Jim — September 28, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  4. Yeah it is guaranteed as long as he shows up. Asking for unconditional release doesn’t save the team the money usually, as plenty of players are cut and still owed money.
    So he voluntarily forfeited it. He mighta been cut anyways (he was atrocious after all) and then he would still be owed money, but I guess he had just had enough and wanted out.

    Comment by rytwin — September 28, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  5. Not often you hear of a player forgoing guaranteed money.. Nishioka giving up 3.5? mill and leaving with a bit of pride intact is probably the highlight of his big league venture.

    Didn’t Gil Meche do this too a couple years back? He had like 12 mill guaranteed I think.

    Comment by snoop LION — September 28, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

  6. The better cognate is probably Kenji Johjima, who left the Mariners with a couple years left on his contract to return to Japan. He also forfeited all the money remaining.

    Comment by Breadbaker — September 28, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

  7. i remember kenji johjima doing the same thing a couple years ago with the mariners. there was some sort of opt out clause that allowed him to go back to japan, but he wont get paid the rest of his contract

    Comment by MajorDanby — September 29, 2012 @ 12:14 am

  8. Yep. Meche retired because he didn’t think he was worth the money. What a class act. I’d guess that Voluntary Retirement was actually the route Nishioka took.

    Comment by gnomez — September 29, 2012 @ 12:22 am

  9. Should have accepted the money and then donated all of it to charity or something.

    Comment by Kevin — September 29, 2012 @ 12:48 am

  10. His view, my guess, was that the Twins had spent all this money on him, and were still going to spend money on him, and he had not done jack squat. So, feeling that he in no way deserved the money, forfeited it so that the team could use that money elsewhere to be better.

    As someone else said, Gil Meche did something similar. He saw that he was doing horrible, and not worth the huge sum owed to him, and decided that the organization and KC fans should use the money elsewhere, rather than taking it for doing nothing or being bad. After all, both of these players were financially well off already.

    I don’t know how this will compare to Johjima unless Nishioka goes back and plays in Japan right away.

    Comment by Zonis — September 29, 2012 @ 2:16 am

  11. Not sure the PA would be happy with — didnt Schilling have some type of deal in his contract that the PA voided? Silly Union…

    Comment by chucknsocal — September 29, 2012 @ 2:21 am

  12. Beats the hell out of my Major League career.

    Comment by Ron Wright — September 29, 2012 @ 3:31 am

  13. too bad darren dreifort had no pride

    Comment by dodgerblue808 — September 29, 2012 @ 5:16 am

  14. I agree. He should have accepted the money and then sued to get his per diem paid as well.

    Comment by Albert Belle — September 29, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  15. MLBPA can’t do that. They can advise someone not to (and players currently in the MLB who intend to stay in MLB almost always listen, since they are an incredibly powerful union), but they don’t have contract voiding powers.

    So for a situation like Meche, Johjima, or Nishioka, where the player’s leaving MLB for good, the MLBPA doesn’t really have say in the matter.

    Only the Commissioner’s Office can actually void a contract.

    Comment by BX — September 29, 2012 @ 11:34 am

  16. He is supposed to get paid that amount of money because of MLB’s guaranteed contracts. However, he asked both for his release AND to forgo the money that was supposed to be paid to him, since he had not lived up to that contract.

    Comment by Bry Jones — September 29, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  17. Coming from a lifelong Twins fan (am 20, started really watching in 2005), Nishi was legitimately the worst ballplayer I have ever seen. Zero redeeming James Quall-ities, and I really do mean that; the epitome of horrible Japanese mechanics in the box, completely let fear get to his head while on defense, minus baserunning, etc.

    Comment by Jack Johnson — September 29, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

  18. He looked extremely uncomfortable at shortstop from the get go, when Nick Swisher broke his ankle with a slide.

    Comment by Anonymous — September 29, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  19. I saw him go 3-4 with a triple and 3 RBI’s when he was with Rochester this year. I had a good laugh.

    Comment by Darryl — September 30, 2012 @ 7:16 am

  20. Here’s the long and the short of it: Nishioka signed a 3 year/9$ million dollar contract to play shortstop for the Twins. He gets to Spring Training and the team moves him from shortstop, a position he’s played all his life, to second base. So in addition to adjusting to an entirely new culture and team, he has to learn a position he hasn’t played since little league?

    I was stunned to find out that Nishioka had won defensive awards in Japan for his glovework. Stunned when I found out that in 2010 he batted .346/.423/.482 in Japan. That’s talent. Why did they move Tsuyoshi from the position in favor of Alexi Casilla? Alexi Freaking Casilla? Ask any Twins fan about Casilla.

    This would just be mismanagement if Nishioka hadn’t broken his leg because of it. Just two weeks into the 2011 season Nishioka fractured his fibula trying to turn a double play. He stepped in front of the bag to field the relay when Nick Swisher slid right into him. I remember the MLB network did a bit showing how Nishi’s footwork was wrong on the play. I don’t know but I’d like to think that in a game in early April most players wouldn’t slide directly into a helpless player. It’s just sad that it happened.

    Anyway, he wouldn’t return until mid-June. Give the Twins credit: they put him back at shortstop when he returned to action. But they also pushed him straight to the majors after two months of not playing baseball. He was set up to fail and he did. He hit almost as bad as Alexi Casilla.

    I don’t think Nishioka got a fair shot and I think he has legitimate grievances with how the team handled him. He gave two years of his prime to an organization that misled him and pushed him into the majors immediately after a serious injury.

    Which makes me admire the way Tsuyoshi handled this situation. He doesn’t need the Twins or their three million dollars. He can go play in Japan next year and be on a team that communicates with him properly and respects and values what he brings to the team.

    Swish is a douche:

    Comment by nolan — September 30, 2012 @ 7:16 am

  21. Here’s the video of MLB Networks Harold Reynolds’ breakdown of the play:

    Comment by nolan — September 30, 2012 @ 7:28 am

  22. I thought the way Nishioka left was a nice end to a terrible two years with the team. I wish more athletes would take responsibility like he did.

    Comment by Amanda — September 30, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  23. Spaghetti and meatballs!

    Comment by Tom H. — October 1, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  24. This isn’t quite right. Nishioka played mostly 2B throughout high school and played both 2B and SS for the first 3 years of his pro career.

    Comment by Pitnick — October 1, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  25. I mean it’s long gone but: Reynolds totaly uses footage from another play a second where Jeter slides into the bag. He also says stuff that does not relate to this particular play, if you happen to whatch the original clip from FSN, you’ll see that Nishioka had in fact he frontfoot poiting to first base, he was not on but besides the base and Swisher was sliding hard. You might say he was sliding to hard, it looks more like he is realy trying to harm Nishioka, while throwing his legs at him. Also in the Jeter-play you see Nishioka jumping, because he is on the base when Jeters is sliding in. Harold Reynolds is totaly wrong on that and it seems that he is so on purpose. I’m not a Swisher-hater but he looks more like the bad guy in this one than Nishioka, who was the one to blame for the most folks.

    Comment by Sascha — July 1, 2013 @ 9:01 am

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