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Kim, Marines to go separate ways

Kyodo

Chiba Lotte Marines infielder Kim Tae Kyun wants to part ways with the Japan Series champions at the end of the season, a team official said Wednesday.

“Chances are, he will leave the team,” Lotte’s head of operations Akira Ishikawa said. “We want to make a decision that will best suit his interests.”

Kim is in the second year of a two-year contract with the Marines, who have a club option for next season.

The 29-year-old South Korean slugger has asked to leave through his agent, who told the Yonhap News Agency that an agreement had been reached by the two sides. Ishikawa said no agreement has been reached, but the two sides will talk next month.

Kim, who starred for Korea at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hit 21 homers last season as the Marines won the Japan Series. This year he is batting .250 with just one home run, and has been in Korea since June 20 to receive treatment for a back injury.