Reds release outfielder Akiyama

Move comes two days before season opener

The Cincinnati Reds announced Tuesday they have released outfielder Shogo Akiyama. The news came two days after the Reds informed Akiyama he would not make the Opening Day roster.

The Reds signed Akiyama in January 2000 to a three-year, $21 million contract. He became the first player from Japan to play for the Reds, who were the last team in baseball to have not signed a player from Japan.

Akiyama hit .245 in 54 games in the 60-game 2020 season and .204 in 88 games last season.

The Reds, who open the season Thursday in Atlanta, have five outfielders remaining on the roster: Nick Senzel; Tyler Naquin; Tommy Pham; Jake Fraley; and Aristides Aquino.

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