Former Texas Rangers right-hander Kohei Arihara is returning to Nippon Professional Baseball as a member of the SoftBank Hawks, a source involved with the matter said Friday.
The 2022 Pacific League runners-up hope the 30-year-old free agent signing can fill a hole in their rotation left by the departure of ace Kodai Senga for the New York Mets.
A native of Hiroshima, Arihara was drafted in the first round in 2014 by the Nippon Ham Fighters out of Waseda University.
He logged 60 wins over six seasons with the Fighters and led the PL with a career-best 15 wins in 2019 before moving to the Rangers via the posting system in 2021.
Arihara's impact in MLB was blunted by a right shoulder issue that required surgery, and he ended his two-year stint for Texas with a 3-7 record and a 7.57 ERA in 15 games.