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Tampa Bay Rays officially sign Hideki Matsui to a minor-league contract

The Tampa Bay Rays made it official Monday, signing former All-Star OF/DH Hideki Matsui to a minor-league deal.

Matsui will be at the Trop on Tuesday for a media session, then on Wednesday report to the Rays extended spring camp in Port Charlotte. He is expected to eventually join Triple-A Durham, likely by mid-May.

"Over the past two decades, Hideki has been one of the most consistently productive hitters in the world,'' Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said, in a team release. "We are happy to add his ability, approach and professionalism to our organization.''

Matsui, who turns 38 in June, has played nine seasons in the majors - seven with the Yankees, then one each with the Angels and A's, compiling a .285 average, 173 home runs, 753 RBIs and 248 doubles in 1,202. He was a nine-time All-Star in Japan, hitting .304 with 332 home runs, 889 RBI and 245 doubles in 1,268 games. He is the first player to hit a combined 500 home runs between the Japanese and major leagues.

With Oakland last season, Matsui hit .251 with 12 home runs, 72 RBIs and 28 doubles, starting 108 games at DH and 27 in leftfield.

Tampa Bay Rays officially sign Hideki Matsui to a minor-league contract 04/30/12 [Last modified: Monday, April 30, 2012 11:33am]
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