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Tampa Bay Rays Expected To Sign Hideki Matsui To Minor League Contract

The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to make an interesting addition to their organization in the form of veteran outfielder/designated hitter Hideki Matsui. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays will likely start Matsui in the minors as he serves in the role of injury insurance for the DH position.

Matsui would likely go to extended spring training in Port Charlotte then report to Triple-A Durham providing, at the least, insurance if current DH Luke Scott were to sustain an injury.

Matsui, 37, has played nine seasons in the majors, with the Yankees, Angels and last year with Oakland. He has a career .285 average with 173 homers and an .830 OPS. Last season with Oakland, he hit .251 with 12 homers and 72 RBIs in 141 games.

He mentions Luke Scott, and his presence on the roster is what makes this move so intriguing. Scott has been playing pretty well this season, so I don't believe that the Rays would want to threaten his place on the roster with Matsui. It will be interesting to see what role they have carved out for Hideki.

For more notes and analysis on the Tampa Bay Rays, check out the Rays blog DRaysBay. And stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay for breaking news and schedules for all Florida sports teams.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.