According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Chiba Lotte Marines are about to post Tsuyoshi Nishioka for MLB teams. Beverly Hills Sports Council will be his representation stateside.
Nishioka, 26, led Japan’s Pacific League with a .346 batting average, 121 runs scored and 206 hits this past season.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports speculates that the posting free could reach $15-20 million in a thin market for free agent shortstops. That sounds like an awful lot for someone who Patrick Newman of FanGraphs used in the same sentence as Ryan Theriot last week. Remember, in addition to the posting fee, the winning team would have to negotiate a contract with Nishioka.
We learned last week that the Dodgers are Nishioka’s preferred landing spot and that the team is known to have scouted the player. Ironically, Nishioka could be a fit at second base if the team non-tenders Theriot.
Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.
Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.
Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.
Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.