Thirty-seven-year-old Shuichi Murata is planning to retire after the 2018 season. He is expected to make a statement during a press conference on August 1.
Murata was released by the Yomiuri Giants after the 2017 season. He signed with the BC League’s Tochigi Golden Braves with hopes of a possible return to the NPB this year. However, the trade deadline ended on July 31 with no offers.
In forty-two games with Tochigi so far this year (through July 31), Murata is 51-for-145 (.352 batting average) with nine home runs and forty-four RBI.
[UPDATE 8/1 @ 2:07pm]
Murata held a press conference at a hotel in Tochigi earlier today to talk about his thoughts after the trade deadline.
[UPDATE 9/10 @ 3:10pm]
Murata got the start a third and batted clean-up during his retirement game on September 9. He went 1-for-5 (Fo2, F9, Ks, 1B8, G3) at the plate. Over 6,000 fans were in attendance. During a post-game ceremony, he told fans that he was retiring.0 Comments
The media learned today that thirty-seven-year-old Shuichi Murata reached an agreement with the BC League’s Tochigi Golden Braves. An official announcement will be made on March 5. A press conference is scheduled for March 9.
[UPDATE 3/5 @ 9:47pm]
Tochigi announced today that they added Murata to their team. He was assigned the uniform number 25.
Source: Tochigi 3/5/2018
See also:0 Comments
The Yomiuri Giants announced on October 13 that they are not planning to sign thirty-six-year-old Shuichi Murata to a contract for the 2018 season.
Murata met General Manager Yoshitaka Katori at a hotel in Tokyo earlier in the day and was told the Giants were focusing on youth, particularly in the infield, and could not guarantee him a lot of playing time. The Giants wanted to show their gratitude for everything the veteran did for the organization over the years and felt releasing him would provide him with more options*.
Murata reportedly thanked Katori for being straight with him. The third baseman is interested in playing next year.
* The Giants could have made Murata exercise his free agent option, but instead released him. Teams that sign him now do not have to worry about compensation.
[UPDATE 10/15 @ 6:02am]
The Chiba Lotte Marines are interested in Murata.
The Swallows could also be interested in the veteran, depending on the health of players like Shingo Kawabata and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama.
According to Sanspo, Murata was prepared to stay with the Giants, regardless of the playing conditions.
[UPDATE 10/15 @ 9:14pm]
Murata was prepared to finish his career with the Giants, particularly because it was his decision to sign with the team after he exercised his free agent option (he felt a sense of responsibility). He never considered free agency.
Considering his family situation, Murata will probably want to stay close to Tokyo. However, he knows he may not have that luxury.
Source: ZakZak 10/15/2017
[UPDATE 10/20 @ 10:12pm]
The Yakult Swallows and Chiba Lotte Marines are not interested in Murata at this time. The Swallows have Kawabata and the Marines are focusing on internal development. Circumstances can change, but for the time being, it seems neither team will actively pursue the veteran.
[UPDATE 10/23 @ 11:13pm]
The Rakuten Eagles are interested in Murata. They already have players like Zelous Wheeler and Ginji to play third and first, respectively, but would also like to expand their options with a Japanese right-handed hitter with pop.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/23/2017
[UPDATE 11/23 @ 9:52pm]
Lions Senior Director Hisanobu Watanabe told reporters they were not planning to approach Murata because they already have options at third base and designated hitter.
Source: Sponichi 11/23/2017
[UPDATE 11/26 @ 3:40am]
Murata has not received any offers. He wants to play baseball and is apparently open to taking tryouts with teams during spring camp next year.
Source: Sponichi 11/25/2017
[UPDATE 12/28 @ 11:06am]
Murata is starting to consider the possibility of retirement.
Source: ZakZak 12/28/2017
[UPDATE 1/9/2018 @ 3:23am]
Murata wants to continue playing and is planning to prepare accordingly. He is open to tryouts and is keeping all his options open, including playing for an independent league team in Japan. For now, he has his sights set on the end of July, the last day for NPB teams to add new players to the seventy-man roster.
[UPDATE 1/26/2018 @ 10:02am]
Murata has not been contacted by any NPB teams, but has received a number of offers from Independent League teams (he has also apparently received a spring training invite from one or more MLB teams). He will most likely meet with teams this month to see if he can secure a contract that will allow him to continue pursuing his goal of returning to the NPB.0 Comments
July 12, 2017 vs Yakult at Tokyo Dome – Murata blasted the 351st home run of his career. The home run was also his 100th in a Yomiuri uniform. He is the twentieth player in NPB history to record at least 100 home runs with two teams, the sixth to accomplish the feat in Yomiuri franchise history, and the second to accomplish the feat in Yomiuri and Yokohama history (the other was Noboru Aota). He is the tweny-ninth player in Yomiuri franchise history to hit at least 100 home runs.
Source: Sponichi 7/13/2017
September 1, 2017 vs Yokohama at Yokohama Stadium – Murata was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning and became the fourth player in NPB history to record 150 HBPs.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/1/2017
Murata donated one million yen (10,000 yen for each hit at 100 hits this year) to the Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center on December 26, 2017. He has been donating money towards neonatal care since 2008.
Source: Daily Sports 12/26/20170 Comments
Shuichi Murata was left out of the starting line-up against the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome tonight because of a left hamstring injury he may have suffered yesterday (June 6). He was available off the bench.
Murata was 8-for-18 with three home runs and eight RBI in his last five games.
Source: Daily Sports 6/7/20170 Comments
The at home Hero of the Year award went to Hayato Sakamoto for his performance this year, both as player (he won the at home Hero of the Month awards in May and July and led the league in batting average) and as captain.
Source: Yomiuri announcement
Winners from the season:
The at home Hero Award for September was given to Shuichi Murata for his game against the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo Dome on September 16. He lowered his gip and help him with his timing. One of his goals this season was to bat .300, but he still feels the home run is what excites fans the most. With runners on second and third and one out in the first inning, he blasted his first home run in five games and his twentieth of the season. He also recorded an RBI single to left with runners on first and second and no out in the fifth inning.0 Comments
Shuichi Murata recorded the tenth walk-off hit of his career on June 15 against the Rakuten Eagles at Tokyo Dome. The walk-off hit was also his fourth in a Yomiuri uniform and his fifth during Inter-league play.
Murata is now in sole possession of first on the All-time list for Inter-league walk-off hits. He started the day tied with Matt Murton.
Source: Nikkan Sports 6/16/20160 Comments
Shuichi Murata was hit by a pitch on the inner portion of his right elbow during his at bat in the seventh inning against Chunichi at Tokyo Dome on May 8 and was replaced by a pinch-runner. He is considered day-to-day.
Source: Nikkan Sports 5/8/20160 Comments