Ex-Giant Shuichi Murata joins independent league team in Tochigi


Former Yomiuri Giants third baseman Shuichi Murata has joined the Tochigi Golden Braves in the independent Baseball Challenge League, the club announced Monday.

Murata hit 14 home runs and batted .262 in 118 games for the Giants last season, his 15th in Nippon Professional Baseball, but the 37-year-old was not offered a 2018 contract due to the Central League club’s plan to build a younger roster.

After receiving no interest from NPB clubs, Murata decided to play in the 10-team BC League which started in 2007.

Murata, who hit .269 over his career, is 135 hits short of 2,000. He joined the Giants in 2012 as a free agent after nine seasons with the Yokohama BayStars. He won four CL Best Nine Awards and three Golden Glove Awards at third base.