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Hawks waive slugger Cabrera

Kyodo

Alex Cabrera, one of three players to hit 55 homers in a season in Japan, was waived on Tuesday by the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, his third Japanese club.

If no team claims him within seven days, the 40-year-old first baseman with 357 career homers in Japan will become a free agent. Cabrera joined Seibu in 2001 and the following season matched the single-season home record of 55, first set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and tied by Tuffy Rhodes in 2001. From 2008 to 2010, the Venezuelan played for Orix.

Last season, his first with Softbank, he was plagued by hamstring trouble. Cabrera, who has been named to five Pacific League Best Nine teams and was the league’s 2002 MVP, has played in just eight games this season.

“He wants playing time,” said the team’s head of baseball operations and player development, Shigeru Ishiwata. “We’ve done this so he can find a better situation.”

Since May, the team had unsuccessfully tried to find takers for the right-handed hitter. The Hawks are currently in fourth place, trailing the league-leading Chiba Lotte Marines by five games.