ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays are expected to sign former World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to a Minor League deal. It just hasn't come to fruition yet.
"None of that is official right now," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I have nothing to comment on that, that's all speculation at this point. You have not heard that from me. You just heard that from me, but you haven't heard the other thing from me."
When asked if the Rays needed another bat, Maddon said the team is always looking to make itself better through depth and that Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman "does a very good job with that."
"The moment you don't have depth, that's when it really creeps up and bites you," Maddon said. "Andrew's constantly working to make us a better team."
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 campaign with the Halos.
Matsui is a career .285 hitter, 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.