The Twins are also trying to get into the import business: Last week they won the negotiating rights to Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka for a $5 million posting fee. Japanese position players haven't been plentiful in the U.S., but their performance tends to be more predictable. They have largely retained their ability to hit for average and their defensive skill, while losing whatever power they had in Japan. (Hideki Matsui is the only Japanese player to hit for power here.) Nishioka, a switch-hitter who won a batting title last season, is comparable to the Orioles' Brian Roberts; he's a middle infielder who can hit second. The pursuit of Nishioka is another reminder that the Twins are low-budget no longer. Their 2011 payroll will top $100 million.