The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, who finished last in the Pacific League for the last two seasons, said Saturday that five foreign players, including former Best Nine Award-winning slugger Wily Mo Pena, will not be back for 2016.
Pena was honored as the Pacific League’s top designated hitter in his Nippon Professional Baseball debut with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2012, when he batted .280 with 21 homers. Pena was healthy last season, when he hit 32 home runs for the Orix Buffaloes, but the 33-year-old hit just 17 this season in Sendai.
Right-hander Rhiner Cruz, first baseman Gaby Sanchez, shortstop Agustin Murillo and developmental roster catcher Alejandro Segovia were all cut free.
Cruz, a 28-year-old in his second season, went 1-3 with 20 holds in 52 games and a 3.12 ERA in 49 innings. Sanchez, a former National League All Star, played in 66 games, hittingseven home runs with a .226 average.
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