By Evans Clinchy
April 30, 2012

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed outfielder Hideki Matsui to a minor league contract, according to Joey Nowak of

Matsui played for the Oakland Athletics last season; he appeared in 141 games and hit .251 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs. He was mostly a DH but started occasionally in left field.

"Over the past two decades, Hideki has been one of the most consistently productive hitters in the world," said Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. "We are happy to add his ability, approach and professionalism to our organization."

Matsui has a career .285 batting average with 173 home runs, 753 RBIs and 248 doubles in 1,202 games in Major League Baseball. Between his American and Japanese experience, he has a total of over 500 home runs; he's the only player in baseball history to combine for over 500 between the U.S. and Japan.

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