Tigers acquire infielder Jhonny Peralta from Indians

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In need of an infielder with Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen on the disabled list, the Tigers on Wednesday acquired Jhonny Peralta from the Indians for LHP Giovanny Soto and cash.
Peralta had been on the market for months, as the Indians decided long ago that they weren’t going to exercise his $7 million option for 2011. He was hitting .246/.308/.389 in 334 at-bats for the Indians. He’ll likely take over as the Tigers’ everyday third baseman until Inge returns and then move into a utility role.
Soto, 19, was 6-6 with a 2.91 ERA, 75 H and 76/25 K/BB in 82 2/3 innings for low Single-A West Michigan. A 21st-round pick last year, he throws in the high-80s now, but could add some velocity as he matures. He’ll likely need to in order to make it as a starting pitcher in the majors.
With third base now open, the Indians could resume playing Jason Donald and Jayson Nix regularly, just as they were doing while Asdrubal Cabrera was out. They’ve also recalled Luis Valbuena. However, they might want to take a chance on another one of the available third baseman. Both Brandon Wood and Andy LaRoche still have some promise, yet they could be available for next to nothing. The Indians have top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall on the way, but he’s probably not going to be up until mid-2011 at the earlier.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.