Rays officially sign Hideki Matsui

Hideki Matsui watches his one RBI single against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning of...

Hideki Matsui watches his one RBI single against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Detroit, Michigan July 20, 2011. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook)

Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

After a week of rumors and speculation, the Tampa Bay Rays made it official on Monday with Hideki Matsui, signing the former World Series MVP to a minor-league contract.

Matsui, who turns 38 in June, hit a career-low .251 in 144 games last year for the Oakland As. The two-time All-Star is expected to meet with the media in Tampa on Tuesday, then report to the team’s extended spring training camp in Port Charlotte, Florida. According to beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Matsui should be with the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in Durham, N.C., by May.

In 1202 career major-league games, Matsui has a .285 batting averaged with 173 home runs and 753 RBI. He was an All-Star with the New York Yankees in 2003 and 2004.

The Rays (14-8, first in AL East) host the Seattle Mariners (11-12, second in AL West) on Monday night at Tropicana Field. Game time is 7:10 p.m. ET.


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