SENDAI – The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles told five pitchers and two position players on Tuesday the team will not re-sign contracts with them for next season.
Right-hander Shigeo Tamaki, 35, and infielder Tadaharu Sakai, 36, plan to retire, while left-handers Masahiko Kaneda, 37, and Kazuhiro Sato, 29, and right-handers Hisashi Tokano, 31, and Eiji Yano, 30, and outfielder Daisuke Masuda, 33, wish to continue their playing careers somewhere else.
Last year, Tohoku Rakuten released more than 10 players and fired manager Yasushi Tao as its inaugural season ended with a humiliating 38-97 record.
Tamaki has not pitched at the top-league level this season after posting a 34-23 win-loss record with eight saves and a 3.87 ERA over 10 years.
Sakai has appeared in just seven games this season, going hitless in six at-bats. He has a .248 career batting average with 12 homers and 181 RBIs in 16 years.
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