Hideki Matsui Appreciative Of Rays Opportunity
Tampa Bay’s Rays recently signed 37-year-old Hideki Matsui, who hit 2.85 with 173 home runs in nine seasons in the big leagues with the NY Yankees, and vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman claims he’s been interested in Matsui for the past several off-seasons. Friedman was quoted by TBO having said:
“We’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him in what he does in the batter’s box, the type of person he is, the type of teammate, the success that he’s enjoyed, so he’s always been someone who’s been on our radar.”
Matsui, the two-time All-Star and 2009 World Series MVP, signed a minor league deal with the Rays. After joining the Rays’ extended spring program in Port Charlotte on Wednesday, he will move to the Triple-A Durham Bulls with the intent of eventually joining the Rays as a designated slugger and part-time outfielder later in the season.
While the contract doesn’t contain a formal opt-out clause, Friedman was quoted having said:
“But we’re going to treat Matsui with the respect he deserves.”
Friedman went onto say that Hideki will be treated “as a member of the Rays and we’ll see what happens.”
In regards to his expectations from the deal, Matsui was quoted having said:
“Really it’s to hopefully join the team and be some kind of force for the team at the major league level.”
Hideki indicated that he signed with the Rays as they were the only team to issue a formal offer and that he’s thankful for the opportunity to once again don a major league uniform.