Lotte approves potential Nishioka move to MLB

Lotte approves potential Nishioka move to MLB

Japanese batting champion Tsuyoshi Nishioka's request to move to Major League Baseball via the posting system has been approved by his current team, the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to the Mainichi Daily News.

Nishioka, a 26-year-old All-Star shortstop who batted .346 in 2010, will be posted on Wednesday, the report said.

"I tried to convince him to stay and help the team win the league pennant and win the Japan Series at [Chiba] Marine [Stadium] next season, but his mind was made up," Lotte club president Ryuzo Setoyama told the newspaper.

"He has pulled the team forward and achieved excellent individual results, and we are rewarding him by granting him his wish. We want him to play two or three years in the Major Leagues, become a bigger player and then come back to us."

Nishioka first requested that he be posted last week.

A switch-hitter, Nishioka is coming off coming his best season in NPB, one in which he helped his Marines win the Japan Series. He paced the circuit in games (144), runs (121), hits (206) and total bases (287). For his eight-year career, he has a .293 batting average, .364 on-base percentage and .426 slugging percentage.

Nishioka played in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 for Japan, which won the tournament. He also played for Japan in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Dan Mennella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.