• Kyodo

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Hiroshima Carp outfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto has decided to leave his club and is expected to join the Hanshin Tigers on a free agent deal, baseball officials said Thursday.

Kanemoto notified his club of his plan to file for free agency earlier in the day and is looking to begin negotiations with the clubs interested in him, including Hanshin, which is eager to sign the 11-year veteran.

“I want to start afresh in a new environment. This will be my first and last chance and I would like to put the rest of my career on the line,” Kanemoto said.

“Right now I am more sad than hopeful. I have been trained as a baseball player in Hiroshima for 11 years and will never forget the spirit of its red cap,” he said. Kanemoto batted .274 with 84 RBIs and 29 homers in 140 games this past season. He has appeared in all innings of every regular-season game for the past three seasons.

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