TOKYO -- Tsuyoshi Nishioka has moved a step closer to playing Major League Baseball after his Japanese team said it accepted a bid for the 26-year-old infielder.
The Chiba Lotte Marines announced Friday that a team from the U.S. major leagues has bid for the negotiating rights to Nishioka. Lotte was notified of the highest bidder following Wednesday's deadline. The team and the amount of the bid were not disclosed.
Nishioka led the Pacific League with a .346 batting average this season and had 206 hits, becoming the first Pacific League player to get 200 hits since Ichiro Suzuki. He led the Marines to this year's Japan Series championship.
Japanese media has reported that the Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants are among the teams interested in Nishioka.
The winning bidder has 30 days to work out a deal with Nishioka. If no agreement is reached, the Marines will not receive the fee.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.