View single post by lobo316
 Posted: Wed Mar 29th, 2017 08:34 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 14th, 2007
Location: Raptorville
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The Chicago Cubs granted popular reserve infielder Munenori Kawasaki his release Tuesday, ending his hopes of making the big-league team out of camp.

Kawasaki had been in Cubs camp on a minor-league contract and didn't stand a great chance of going north with the team given their plethora of infield options. While the 35-year-old will now get the chance to look for a potential big-league job elsewhere, the Cubs are hopeful Kawasaki will choose to return on a minor-league deal and serve as depth in Triple-A.

"Hopefully we get a chance to sign him back," manager Joe Maddon told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. "A guy like him needs to take advantage of how well he's playing and possibly see if there's a chance to get a major-league job. That's all that is. But we'd love to get him back."

Kawasaki spent most of 2016 with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, and appeared in just 14 major-league contests with the World Series champions. The native of Japan owns a career .237/.320/.289 slash line with one home run over his five-year big-league career with the Cubs, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays.

He's perhaps best known in North America, however, for his fun-loving personality and off-field antics that have made him a beloved member of each team he's played for. Last spring, Kawasaki announced his presence at Cubs camp by serenading the team, then memorably reveled in their playoff celebration despite not being on the active roster. He also made a memorable appearance in a Japanese beverage commercial over the winter.