Takahiro Arai (37) visited Hanshin headquarters in Nishinomiya earlier today and submitted a request to be released. The Tigers accepted.
Arai was in the final year of a three-year deal. He struggled to win an everyday position this year and spent most of his time as a bat off the bench. The Tigers reportedly made an offer that would have cut his salary by sixty or more percent, from 200 million yen down to 70 or 80 million yen. Since the decrease was more than 100 million yen and by more than forty percent, he had the right to either accept the pay cut or request a release.
The veteran will turn thirty-eight in January. He does not plan on attending tryouts later this month and will instead play the waiting game. He ends his Hanshin career 146 hits away from 2,000.