Reds tell OF Akiyama he won't make opening day roster

Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-03 22:19:58-04

The Cincinnati Reds informed Shogo Akiyama on Sunday that he would not make the opening day roster, leaving him to decide whether he’ll go down to Triple-A or become a free agent.

A productive player for nearly a decade in Japan, the outfielder wasn’t able to duplicate that success in two seasons with Cincinnati. He turns 34 later this month.

The left-handed hitter batted .224 overall with no home runs and 21 RBIs in 142 games for the Reds. He hit .204 last year and was slowed by hamstring injuries.

In Japan, he was a career .304 hitter in nine seasons and hit at least 20 homers in his last three years.

Akiyama can accept assignment to Triple-A Louisville or try free agency once the paper transaction is completed by opening day. Akiyama will have seven days to decide.

“We are working with his agent,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said. “We felt we had better options with (Jake) Fraley and (Tyler) Naquin. ... Another left-handed bat was redundant. We would love to have him in our organization but he has to do what’s best for him and his family.”

The news didn’t shock Akiyama, who hasn’t yet said what he will do.