The Yomiuri Giants have notified Tuffy Rhodes they will not sign a contract with the slugger for next season, the Central League club said Monday.

The Giants, who finished fifth in the six-team league, had decided to release the 37-year-old outfielder as part of an effort to rebuild the team with younger players.

This year, Rhodes hit just .240 with 27 home runs and 70 RBIs before returning to the United States in August for season- ending surgery on his right shoulder.

Rhodes played eight seasons with the Kintetsu Buffaloes and two years with the Giants, winning the home run title in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004.

During those 10 years, Rhodes hit 360 home runs with 993 RBIs and compiled a career .284 batting average in Japan.

Rhodes tied the single-season Japanese home run record of 55 in 2001 and was named the Pacific League MVP that year.

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