OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Athletics have declined to exercise their $5.5 million contract option for shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima and instead owe him a $500,000 buyout.
The highly touted Nakajima, 32, never played a major league game after receiving a $6.5 million, two-year contract in December 2012. He missed time in his first season of 2013 because of a strained left hamstring, and the A's didn't have the same need for a shortstop once they acquired Jed Lowrie from Houston in early February of 2013.
Nakajima, a seven-time Pacific League All-Star, becomes a free agent. He had a .302 batting average with 149 home runs, 664 RBIs and 134 stolen bases over 11 seasons with the Seibu Lions.