SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported earlier this week that the Red Sox and Twins have serious interest in 26-year-old Japanese infielder and MLB free agent Tsuyoshi Nishioka. And now other teams are looking to join the fray.
From Patrick Newman’s NPB Tracker comes a couple of updates on the highly coveted Nishioka:
The Orioles fully intend to at least make a bid. The Mariners and Padres are also strongly considering making offers.
The Diamondbacks are out, worried that the price will be too high. The Giants aren’t going to send in a proposal either.
Nishioka won the batting title in Nippon Professional Baseball this past year and is hoping to cash in with a move state-side. Most MLB clubs view him as a second baseman rather than a shortstop, but that’s all case-by-case depending on individual needs.
Nishioka has expressed a desire to play on the West Coast, but he’ll probably chase the largest and most lucrative contract in the end.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.