• Kyodo News

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Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka, whom the Minnesota Twins won the exclusive bidding rights to last week, said Monday he feels encouraged that a team that is in playoff contention every year was the highest bidder.

“The Twins are a team who are in playoff contention each year. I wanted to go to a strong team,” said the beaming 26-year-old, who was attending an awards ceremony for a Golden Glove the same day.

Nishioka, who is now closer than ever to realizing his childhood dream of playing in the majors, said he is feeling both excitement and nervousness about the new life that awaits him.

“I feel little bit of both. It will be hard to leave a place that I was used to living in, but I don’t want to let it beat me. I want to enjoy myself without getting down,” he said.

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