Nikkan Sports reported Monday that Lewis, citing family health problems, turned down an offer from his previous club, the Hiroshima Carp, and will be headed back to the U.S. in hopes of landing on a big league roster for the 2010 season.
Based on how Lewis performed in Japan, he could draw interest from Major League teams.
The 1999 sandwich pick by the Rangers stepped into the ace role for the Carp -- one vacated by current Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda -- and went 26-17 with a 2.82 ERA in 55 games the last two years, leading the Central League in strikeouts both seasons.
During that span, he struck out 369 batters while walking just 46 in 354 1/3 innings to give him a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.02. In five seasons in the big leagues, Lewis' strikeout-to-walk ratio was just 1.25.
The 30-year-old right-hander compiled a 12-15 record and a 6.71 ERA in his big league career, with his first three years coming in Texas. He missed the entire 2005 season with rotator cuff surgery and last pitched in the U.S. with the Athletics organization in '07, posting a 6.45 ERA in 26 Major League games and a 1.88 ERA in 15 Triple-A starts.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.