Hideki Matsui: Former World Series MVP Reportedly Signs with Tampa Bay Rays

Kenny DeJohnAnalyst IIIApril 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 10: Hideki Matsui #55 of the Oakland Athletics during a baseball game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 10, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Oakland won 8-7. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
Brandon Wade/Getty Images

Hideki Matsui and the Tampa Bay Rays are expected to agree to a minor league contract, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network.

Matsui will more than likely head to an extended spring training before making his way to the big club.

After hitting .251 with 12 home runs and 72 RBI last season with the A's, Matsui was unable to find a major league deal this winter. Instead, he decided to hold out for a deal during the season.

He got his wish with the Rays, as he'll likely provide depth at the designated hitter position. 

Luke Scott, who had injury problems last season with the Orioles, is no sure bet to play in 140-plus games this season.

Should that be the case, Matsui will see most of his at-bats against righties.

Matsui, who had been working out in the New York area awaiting a contract, will likely only need a few weeks to get his timing and bat speed back to where they were last season.

It's nice to see the 37-year-old back with a team, but this will likely be the last go-around for the aging outfielder/DH.

Matsui is a career .285/.363/.467 hitter with 173 home runs and 753 RBI over nine seasons in the league. 

He made a name for himself after coming over from Japan with the Yankees, winning a World Series MVP there in 2009—his final season in pinstripes. There was speculation that he could return to New York this offseason, but the Yankees ultimately chose Raul Ibanez instead.

He has since played with the Angels and A's, and he'll look to make the Rays at some point in May or June.