Chiba Lotte chooses highest bid on Tsuyoshi Nishioka

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According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Chiba Lotte Marines announced Friday (Japan time) that an MLB club has won exclusive negotiating rights with shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

Chiba Lotte simply accepted the highest bid.  But they won’t announce that highest-bidding team until “a later date.”

Nishioka won the batting title in Nippon Professional Baseball this year with a .346 batting average and has been courted by several organizations state-side, including the Twins, Mariners, Orioles and Red Sox.

The Twins were thought of as the front-runners as recently as a week ago, but any team could have swooped in and out-bid the rest.  Chiba Lotte should reveal more information over the weekend or some time early next week.

The team that won Nishioka’s negotiating rights will have the next 30 days to work out a contract.  No word yet on what the middle infielder might be asking.

UPDATE: Christensen says the winning club will likely be revealed Friday (US time).

Dodgers announce World Series rotation order

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We know Clayton Kershaw will oppose Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the World Series. We now know the rest of the Dodgers’ rotation order, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. After Kershaw, it’ll be Rich Hill, then Yu Darvish, followed by Alex Wood.

No surprise, that’s the same order the Dodgers used in the NLCS against the Cubs. Dodger starters combined to post a 2.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts and four walks across 27 innings in the NLCS.

The Astros haven’t yet announced their rotation order, but we can safely assume Justin Verlander will follow Keuchel in Game 2.