Kenji Johjima has told the Seattle Mariners over the weekend that he will opt out of the final two years of his contractand become a free agent. Johjima was set to make $15.8 million in his two years with the Mariners and is now free to return to Japan.
"After lots of very deep thought and deliberation, I have decided to return home to resume my career in Japan," Johjima said in a statement. "I have had a wonderful experience competing at the major league level. The last four years have been extraordinary, with great teammates and great coaches. I will always be indebted to the Mariners organization for giving me the opportunity to follow my dream.
"This was a very difficult decision, both professionally and personally. I feel now is the time to go home, while I still can perform at a very high level."
Johjima struggled in his four years as a Mariner, hitting .268 in those four years and only playing 71 games last year due to injuries and being benched.