Cincinnati Reds release outfielder Shogo Akiyama after two seasons, still owe him $8 million

The Cincinnati Reds released outfielder Shogo Akiyama on Tuesday, two days after he was told he wouldn't make the team's Opening Day roster.

The Reds still owe him $8 million, his salary for 2022 as part of a three-year contract he signed with the team in 2020.

A productive player for nearly a decade in Japan, the outfielder wasn't able to duplicate that success in two seasons with Cincinnati. He turns 34 later this month.

The left-handed hitter batted .224 overall with no home runs and 21 RBIs in 142 games for the Reds. He hit .204 last year and was slowed by hamstring injuries.

Adversity followed his signing before the 2020 season delayed by COVID-19. He was hurt last year, and was batting just .182 (four singles in 22 at-bats) in spring training this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.