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Former Giants slugger Shuichi Murata hints at retirement after lack of NPB interest

Kyodo

Former Yomiuri Giants third baseman Shuichi Murata hinted Wednesday he may retire after his hopes of returning to Nippon Professional Baseball this season were dashed.

Murata, who joined the Tochigi Golden Braves in the independent Baseball Challenge League, did not receive any interest from NPB clubs by the July 31 transfer deadline and implied this season may be his last.

“I don’t intend to comment about my retirement today. But I can’t imagine myself trying to return to NPB next season,” Murata said at a news conference in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture.

The Giants did not offer the 37-year-old a 2018 contract as the team shifted towards fielding a younger roster. Murata had been waiting for an offer from NPB ballclubs while playing in the 10-team BC League.

Murata 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.