Veteran hurler Hisashi Iwakuma will continue his playing career in Japan, with the Yomiuri Giants announcing that he has signed on with the club. Japan’s Kyodo News has the story on the deal. Iwakuma had previously announced at the tail end of the 2018 campaign that he’d return to his native country to keep pitching. The 37-year-old had made one last effort to return to the majors last year, but ended up making only a pair of minor-league appearances with the Mariners — the only MLB organization with which he has pitched. The Seattle organization got plenty of value from Iwakuma over the years, enjoying 883 2/3 total innings of 3.42 ERA ball spread over six seasons. He was a strong contributor over most of that span, though more recently shoulder problems arose that kept him off of the mound. Iwakuma will return to a league in which he long thrived before coming to the majors. Over 11 campaigns with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Iwakuma worked to a 3.25 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. He wrapped up his first stint in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2011, launching his MLB career in the ensuing season.