Clouds and sun

A's agree on $6.5 million, 2-year contract with Nakajima

  • The Oakland Athletics' new shortstop, Hiroyuki Nakajima, right, smiles while answering a question as general manager Billy Beane listens during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. The A's finalized a two-year, $6.5 million contract with Nakajima of Japan's Seibu Lions. The deal announced Tuesday runs through the 2014 baseball season and includes a club option for 2015. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

OAKLAND — Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane hopes he got another significant addition from the international market.

The A's finalized a $6.5 million, two-year contract with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima on Tuesday, filling a void created by the departures of Cliff Pennington and Stephen Drew.

"There are some things when you're here in Oakland that just feel right. This one felt right," Beane said. "The longer we went on, the more information we got we said let's take a chance on the unknown as opposed to going down the road of the known."

This marks the second straight offseason that Beane has added a prominent international player, with the team having signed Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes to a $36 million, four-year deal last winter. Beane said there is much more information available about foreign players, making signing them less risky.

If Nakajima can have anywhere the success that Cespedes had as a rookie, the A's would be ecstatic. Cespedes was a major part of the team's surprising season, batting .292 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs to help lead Oakland to the AL West title and first playoff appearance since 2006.

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