Baseball: Akiyama receives no interest in U.S., to return to Japan

Outfielder Shogo Akiyama said Saturday he will return to Japan having received no offers in the United States following his release from the San Diego Padres' Triple-A affiliate in El Paso, Texas.

The 34-year-old, who joined the Cincinnati Reds on a three-year, $21 million contract ahead of the 2020 season, said he will fly back to his homeland within days and look for his next team there.

"I've been told by my agent that we've gotten no offers from teams in American baseball. I'll return to Japan before making my next decision," Akiyama said.

Akiyama played all nine years of his Nippon Professional Baseball career with the Pacific League's Seibu Lions, where he was a five-time All-Star and six-time Golden Glove winner. He also broke Japan's single-season record in 2015 with 216 hits.

In 142 major league games over two seasons, he hit .224 with 21 RBIs and no home runs.

The Reds released him with one year left on his contract and the Padres signed him to a minor-league deal last month, but he was released Thursday by El Paso.

© Kyodo News