Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka “wants to play on the West Coast”

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Later this week MLB teams are expected to bid on exclusive negotiating rights to Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Japanese infielder “wants to play on the West Coast” and is mostly interested in the Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Padres.

He won’t actually have a choice in the matter, as Nishioka will only be allowed to sign with whichever team submits the high bid to the Chiba Lotte Marines, but assuming MLB front offices have done their homework those four teams figure to be in the mix.

Hernandez writes that “the Dodgers are his preferred landing spot” and “are known to have scouted Nishioka.” Los Angeles has Rafael Furcal at shortstop, but could use Nishioka at second base if they non-tender Ryan Theriot before the arbitration deadline.

Earlier this week the A’s bid $17 million for the exclusive negotiating rights to Hisashi Iwakuma and now have 30 days to negotiate a contract with the Japanese right-hander.

Donald Trump wants Curt Schilling in the Hall of Fame

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We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.

Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.

I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.

I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:

Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.