Rays expected to sign Matsui to Minors deal

Rays expected to sign Matsui to Minors deal

The Rays are expected to sign former World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to a Minor League deal, according to a baseball source.

Matsui, 37, played in 141 games with the Athletics last season, hitting .251 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs. He started just 27 games in left field, serving as the team's designated hitter 108 times and entering as a pinch-hitter in his other six appearances.

The left-handed-hitting Matsui spent his first seven Major League seasons with the Yankees with whom he was selected to two All-Star Games and won the 2009 World Series MVP. He signed as a free agent with the Angels the following season and hit .274 with 21 home runs in 145 games in his lone season with the Halos.

Matsui is a career .285 batter with 173 homers in the Major Leagues after hitting .304 with 332 home runs in nine seasons with the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.