The Tampa Bay Rays have designated outfielder/designated hitter Hideki Matsui for assignment to make room for infielder Ryan Roberts on the active roster as well as the 40-man roster. The Rays now have 10 days to either trade Matsui, release him or place him on waivers.
Matsui, 38, signed a minor league contract with the Rays on April 30 and was selected to the major league roster on
May 29. He appeared in 34 games for the Rays including 23 starts (10 as designated hitter, seven in left field and six in right field). He hit two home runs, both coming in his first three games with the club.
The 2012 campaign marked Matsui’s 10th season in the majors, making him the first in baseball history to play 10 seasons in Japan Pro Baseball (NPB) and 10 in Major League Baseball. The nine-time All-Star in Japan (1994–2002) and two-time American League All-Star (2003-04) has the most home runs (175), RBI (760) and walks (547) of any Japanese player in major league history.
Roberts was acquired last night from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league second baseman Tyler Bortnick.