Yankees win rights to Nakajima

The Yankees have won the rights to negotiate with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday.

Nakajima, 29, was posted by the Seibu Lions and is a lifetime .302 hitter in Japan, having debuted in 2002. The Yankees will have 30 days to sign Nakajima to a Major League or Minor League contract.

They are believed have interest in the right-handed hitting Nakajima as a possible backup to shortstop Derek Jeter, as well as seeing some time at third base and second base. Most of Nakajima’s professional experience has come at shortstop.

New York used Eduardo Nunez in a similar role this year, and though the Yankees have been reluctant to consider dealing Nunez, general manager Brian Cashman said Nunez has drawn trade interest from clubs.

– Bryan Hoch


I wonder if Nakajima will sign knowing that he is going to be utilized as a back up or utility player.
Could this be another Iwakuma scenario?


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