Designated hitter Hideki Matsui, who played last season for the Oakland Athletics, found himself unemployed at the beginning of the 2012 season. Matsui is 37, and had somewhat of a down year in Oakland in 2011, hitting .251/.321/.375 with just 12 home runs and an OPS+ of 92.
Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they have signed Matsui to a minor-league contract:
"Over the past two decades, Hideki has been one of the most consistently productive hitters in the world," said Rays Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. "We are happy to add his ability, approach and professionalism to our organization."
Matsui will report to the Rays' extended-spring-training camp in Charlotte County, Florida.
Luke Scott and Jeff Keppinger have served the most time at DH for the Rays this season; both have hit reasonably well in the role, but Friedman is apparently looking for some insurance from a man with significant postseason experience.