• Kyodo


The Yomiuri Giants will not offer a contract a new contract to third baseman Shuichi Murata, the team announced Friday.

The 36-year-old Murata joined the Giants in 2012 as a free agent after leading the Central League in home runs while playing for the Yokohama BayStars in 2007 and 2008.

Murata hit 14 home runs this season, raising his career total to 360, the 27th-highest figure in NPB history.

This season, he batted .262 with a .331 on-base average and a .423 slugging average, figures close to his career totals of .269, .337 and .479, respectively.

Although Murata was coming off a solid 2016 season, the Giants seemed eager to give his position away last winter with the offseason signing of corner infielder Casey McGehee. After a poor start to the season in which the club got meager offensive production from their second basemen, the Giants turned things around in early July by moving McGehee to second so Murata could play every day at third.

Murata has won four CL Best Nine Awards and three Golden Glove Awards at third base.

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