ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) - The Tampa Bay Rays have purchased the contract of designated hitter Hideki Matsui from Triple-A Durham.
The team announced the move before Tuesday night's game against the Chicago White Sox.
Matsui signed a minor league contract with the Rays on April 30 and hit .170 with four RBI in 13 games at Durham.
Matsui, who will turn 38 years old in June, played 10 seasons in Japan before signing with the Yankees prior to the 2003 season. He played for the Yankees through 2009, helping New York to a World Series title and earning Fall Classic MVP honors in a six-game triumph over Philadelphia in his final season with the club.
The slugger spent 2010 with the Angels and 2011 with Oakland. He is a career .285 hitter in 1,202 major league games with 173 homers and 753 runs batted in.
To make room for Matsui on the roster, the Rays optioned outfielder-designated hitter Stephen Vogt to Durham and transferred outfielder Brandon Guyer from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.