CHIBA – Chiba Lotte Marines right-hander Yasuhiko Yabuta, who had a stint in the major leagues with the Kansas City Royals, will retire at the end of this season, the club said Sunday.
The 40-year-old Yabuta has been hampered with a right shoulder problem and has not played for the top team this season.
“I did my best until the (end) to try and return to the Marine mound, but felt it was beyond me,” Yabuta said in a club statement. “I have no regrets.”
A member of the Japan team that won the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, Yabuta made his professional debut with the Marines in 1996 after joining the Pacific League club as a second-round draft pick.