It appears Brian Bannister has decided to retire. At least that's what the NPB commissioner's office is now reporting.
UPDATE @ 6:45pm - Team rep Hidetoshi Kiyotake told reporters that the club received confirmation that Bannister has no intention of playing baseball in either the US or Japan.
UPDATE @ 10:50pm - Via fighting ham's link down below: Jiji Press has a slightly different quote from Kiyotake: "He told us that after thinking things through, he no longer wanted to play baseball anywhere [in the world]. We have on choice but to respect that decision."