Hideki Matsui eager to get started with Rays

6:27 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
Hideki Matsui
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) - Hideki Matsui thinks he can still perform at a high level and help the Tampa Bay Rays.

The former Japan Central League star who has played nine seasons in the major leagues with the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics signed a minor league contract with the Rays.

He will report to extended spring training in Port Charlotte on Wednesday, and the Rays reiterated Tuesday that there's not a definitive timetable for getting him ready to play.

Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Matsui will head to Triple-A Durham when the club and the slugger feel he's in good enough shape to take the next step toward a return to the majors.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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