Infielder Toshihisa Nishi, who filed for free agency with an eye to playing in the major leagues, agreed Tuesday on a two-year deal to remain with the Yomiuri Giants for a total of 500 million yen plus performance-related incentives.
Nishi got a signing bonus and decided to return to the Central League club for a 10th straight season as no formal offers had been made from any of the major league clubs.
“If I just kept waiting, there was no chance of getting a deal (from a major league team) that I hoped for,” said Nishi, who signed in a meeting with Yomiuri club representative Hidetoshi Kiyotake.
“I think it was in my best interest to choose the club that expressed a real need for me,” said the 33-year-old Nishi.
Earlier in the offseason, Nishi hired Scott Boras as his U.S. agent and had been waiting to hear from a major league team while putting on hold a two-year contract offered by the Giants, who also set a Dec. 31 deadline for a response from him.
He was hoping for some action after the Major League Baseball winter meetings held earlier this month and had reportedly drawn interest from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but received no formal offer.
Nishi, however, said he has not completely given up hope on his major league dream.
“If I play two years without any regrets and have good results, I’ll consider the majors again.”
Nishi, the 1996 CL Rookie of the Year and winner of four straight Golden Glove awards from 1999, hit .289 with 28 homers and 60 RBIs in 137 games in the 2004 season.
Meanwhile, Yomiuri right-hander Koji Uehara sat along with his agent, Kimihito Kato, for talks with Kiyotake but was unable to reach an agreement, meaning his next round of talks with the Tokyo-based club will have to wait until next month.