The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters announced on Thursday that they have terminated the contract of Michel Abreu, who led the Pacific League in home runs last season.
Abreu has been limited to just six games this season because of a lower back injury, and it appeared unlikely that he would be able to return to action before the end of the campaign.
“It was not my true intention to leave the club, but I want to focus on treatment and will give my all so I can be sure of playing baseball again,” Abreu, 35, said in a statement.
In 2013, Abreu hit 31 home runs in his first season with the Fighters. In his six appearances this year, he hit .211 with one homer and one RBI.
“If it was going to take him (Abreu) another month preparing (to come back), then this can’t be helped. It’s a real shame,” Nippon Ham manager Hideki Kuriyama said.