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01/19/09 9:49 AM EST

Iguchi planning to return to Japan

Infielder set to sign with Chiba Lotte to prolong career

It appears Tadahito Iguchi is planning to return to Japan to prolong his playing career.

Iguchi is set to sign with the Chiba Lotte Marines, according to Kyodo News. The 34-year-old infielder spent the past four years in the Majors, playing for the White Sox, Phillies and Padres.

Iguchi combined to hit .232 with a .292 on-base percentage and .306 slugging percentage in 85 combined games with the Phillies and Padres this past season. In his 493 career Major League games, he hit .268 with 44 homers and 48 stolen bases.

While helping the White Sox win the 2005 World Series, Iguchi proved productive enough to finish fourth in American League Rookie of the Year balloting.

After combining to hit .280 with 33 homers and a .430 slugging percentage in his first two Major League seasons, Iguchi combined to hit just .253 with 11 homers and a .363 slugging percentage during the past two seasons.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.