Pitcher Brian Bannister left the Yomiuri Giants on March 15th in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, reported Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times on April 10th. Unlike most foreign players, Bannister left without permission and had to be placed on the restricted list. Coskrey said that placement on the list prevents Bannister from playing for any team - "in or outside of Japan" - until the situation is resolved.
An AP story on this topic surfaced today, in which Bannister reportedly told Japanese officials he has no plans to play in Japan or the U.S.
Bannister, 30, elected free agency after being outrighted by the Royals in November following a 6.34 ERA campaign. He went on to sign a $1.8MM deal with the Giants, but never pitched for them.