Infielder Kazuo Matsui will not be offered a new contract for next season, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles announced Friday.
The Eagles had offered Matsui either a coaching position or another role in the front office, but the 42-year-old wants to continue his playing career.
“He is a hard worker who has given much to the team for years,” club president Yozo Tachibana said last week.
Matsui played seven seasons in the majors and returned to Japan to play for the Eagles in 2011. He was a key member of the Eagles’ 2013 Japan Series championship team.
This year, he appeared in only 44 games, including just one at his old position, shortstop, where Eigoro Mogi has developed into one of Rakuten’s key contributors.
The veteran switch-hitter was left off the Eagles’ postseason roster.
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