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OSAKA — Seibu Lions slugger Alex Cabrera tied the Japanese record for home runs in a single season, and next season, he thinks he’ll reach No. 56.

But that’s if he comes back for another year with the defending Pacific League champions.

Before Tuesday’s MLB-Japan All-Star Game, Cabrera said he is interested in playing in the major leagues again next season. The 30-year-old Venezuelan said he has “options” for the second year of his two-year contract with Seibu.

“I tell my friends, if someone gives me a chance, I’ll hit 40 home runs,” said Cabrera, the former Arizona Diamondback who tied the Japan home-run record of 55 set by Sadaharu Oh in 1964 and Tuffy Rhodes in 2001.

“If I have a chance, I’ll go.”

Cabrera has some unfinished business, though. He wants another year and one more shot at the Japanese all-time single-season record for home runs, which he said he was robbed of when PL pitchers feared a non-Japanese breaking the legendary Oh’s mark.

“Remember what country I’m in now,” Cabrera said, when asked by the American press if he thought that was fair. “I’ll play one more year, I’ll break it.”

Through two games in the MLB-Japan series prior to Tuesday, Cabrera was hitting 6-for-9 with five RBIs and two home runs.

Warren Cromartie, a former major-league star and Yomiuri Giants outfielder and now vice president of a sports management company, said he has heard from agents that several major-league ballclubs are interested in Cabrera.

“The (Kansas City) Royals, they could use a DH like this guy,” Cromartie said. “I mean, he’s putting on a show over here. He’s upstaging (Hideki) Matsui.”

Not to mention five-time NL MVP Barry Bonds.

F.A. list released

Central League home-run king Hideki Matsui heads the list of free agents released Tuesday by the baseball commissioner’s office and is one of six players set to test the open market as negotiations open Wednesday.

Ten out of 62 eligible players filed for free agency by Monday’s deadline but four of them, including Yomiuri Giants right-hander Masumi Kuwata, opted to become free agents with the intention of re-signing with their clubs.

Matsui announced earlier this month that he will leave Yomiuri for the majors.

Yokohama BayStars pitcher Takashi Saito also said he will begin talks with an eye on joining the major leagues.

Norihiro Nakamura has strongly hinted he is preparing to leave the Kintetsu Buffaloes. The Pacific League club is the first team to meet him Wednesday, possibly with a lucrative multi-year offer to try and retain the services of the third baseman.

The Daiei Hawks’ Kenichi Wakatabe hopes to land a deal with a club near his hometown in Kanagawa.

Media reports have linked Tomoaki Kanemoto of the Hiroshima Carp with a possible deal with the Hanshin Tigers.

Players become eligible for free agency after nine years on the top-team roster.

Almonte released

The Yomiuri Giants have released right-hander Hector Almonte, who played two seasons for the Central League club, officials said Tuesday.

Almonte, a Dominican, was limited to 31 relief appearances, including 27 games in the 2002 season, and had an 0-1 record and one save for Yomiuri’s top team.

Meanwhile, the Seibu Lions traded veteran infielder Ken Suzuki to the Yakult Swallows for cash. The 32-year-old Suzuki hit .238 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 65 games this past season.

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