Brian Bannister leaves Japanese team

TOKYO -- Former Kansas City Royals pitcher Brian Bannister has left Japan's Yomiuri Giants following last month's earthquake and tsunami.

The Giants said Tuesday that Bannister will not be returning to play for the Central League team after leaving the country on March 16.

The 30-year-old right-hander signed a one-year deal worth $1.8 million in January.

Bannister told Japanese baseball officials he has no plans to play in either Japan or the United States.

Bannister went 7-12 with a 6.34 ERA in 24 games for the Royals last season.