Former Yankees pitcher and Japan League star Hideki Irabu has ended his comeback attempt and will retire. Irabu, 40, hasn't pitched professionally since 2004 with Hanshin Tigers, but was pitching for Golden Baseball League's Long Beach Armada.
After Irabu posted a 5-3 record in 10 starts with the Armada, striking out 66 while walking just 19, he announced that he would try to return to the Japanese League. However, tightening budgets didn't improve his odds of landing a contract.
Irabu's best year in the U.S. came in 1998 when he posted 13 wins and a 4.06 ERA in 28 starts. His best year in Japan came in 1994 with Chiba Lotte Marines when he posted a 15-10 record in 27 appearances with a 3.04 ERA.