SENDAI (Kyodo) Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles first baseman-designated hitter Fernando Seguignol has turned down an invitation to play for Panama in the World Baseball Classic in March, the club said Friday.

“It would be a great honor to play for my country, but I have decided to skip the WBC to concentrate on the season in Japan,” Seguignol said through Rakuten.

The 2004 Pacific League home run leader is a .277 career hitter in Japan with 158 homers and 426 RBIs in six seasons with the Orix BlueWave, Nippon Ham Fighters and Rakuten.

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