Highlight video of Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka

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While the Twins negotiate with Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka after bidding $5 million for his exclusive negotiating rights, here’s a five-minute highlight video put together by his representatives at the Beverly Hills Sports Complex:

Nishioka looks pretty good, but then again I’m pretty sure someone could splice together five minutes of footage that makes Juan Castro look like a good player too.

Like many Japanese hitters Nishioka has a pronounced leg kick that precedes his swing, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Twins will ask him to ditch it, assuming they sign him.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.