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Tigers’ Murton heads back to U.S., unsure about return

Kyodo

Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton, who wrapped up a two-year contract with the Central League team this season, said he is uncertain whether he will be back next year before departing for the United States on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Murton, who batted .314 with a .484 slugging percentage — both team highs — called the Tigers whom he has played with four years his home away from home, but said he honestly doesn’t know if he’ll be back for 2014.

Murton, who had 214 hits for the most ever in Japanese baseball in his first season in 2010, would not rule out a return to the major leagues. He played for the Colorado Rockies in 2009. This year, he had 178 hits, his third time overall with the most in the league.

Tigers owner Shinya Sakai said, “All we can do is negotiate with him to remain on the team.”