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The New York Mets said Tuesday the team will not exercise the option on left-handed pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii for the next season.

The National League club had a $3.25 million option to conclude a contract with Ishii but decided not to exercise the option, making the 32-year-old hurler a free agent. The Mets will pay $2.2 million in penalty to Ishii.

Ishii lost his spot in the rotation in midseason after a string of shaky starts.

Earlier in the day, he said in Tokyo that he wants to find a team that will use him as a starter. “I want to leave the Mets because their rotation is set,” said Ishii, who was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 6 after struggling to earn a 3-9 record with a 5.04 ERA in 16 starts.

Ishii did not refer to the possibility of rejoining the Yakult Swallows. As a free agent, he has a choice to sign with a Japanese team.

Ishii has a 39-34 career record with a 4.44 ERA in four years in the major leagues, three with the Los Angeles Dodgers and one with the Mets.

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