Shogo Akiyama back in Japan after lack of interest from the United States

Outfielder Shogo Akiyama said on Saturday he would return to Japan having received no offers in the United States following his release from the San Diego Padres’ Triple-A affiliate in El Paso, Texas.

The 34-year-old, who joined the Cincinnati Reds on a three-year, $21million deal ahead of the 2020 season, said he would return to his homeland in days and seek his next team there .

“My agent told me that we hadn’t received any offers from American baseball teams. I will return to Japan before making my next decision,” Akiyama said.

Akiyama played all nine years of his Japanese professional baseball career with the Seibu Lions of the Pacific League, where he was a five-time All-Star and a six-time Golden Glove winner. He also broke the Japanese single-season record in 2015 with 216 hits.

In 142 major league games over two seasons, he hit .224 with 21 RBI and no homers.

The Reds released him with one year remaining on his contract and the Padres signed him to a minor league contract last month, but he was released Thursday by El Paso.

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