November 14, 2012 10:48
Pitcher Lim Chang-yong will leave the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, his agent Park Yoo-hyun said on Tuesday by phone.
"We've decided he needs a fresh environment in which to grow further, so we met with the team's officials last week and agreed on Lim's departure," Park said.
Sports Nippon, a Japanese sports daily, also reported on Tuesday morning that it seems almost certain Lim will part ways with the Swallows.
His season was cut short by an operation on his right elbow in July. As he will not be able to return to the field until next summer at the earliest – and in light of his 360 million yen (W4.9 billion) salary -- the club decided not to renew his contract.
Lim has served as the Swallows' closer since 2008 and recorded 128 saves along with 11 wins and 13 losses.
"We are looking for ways for Lim to play in U.S. Major League Baseball while also searching for a new club in Japan," said Park, suggesting that the player has little interest in returning to Korea at this point.
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