Because the Rays don’t have a pressing need for a designated hitter Hideki Matsui likely needs to put up some impressive numbers at Triple-A to turn his minor-league contract into a return to the majors.
So far at least it isn’t happening, as the 38-year-old Matsui has hit just .121 with zero homers in nine games for Durham, striking out six times while drawing just one walk.
Matsui’s contract is worth a prorated share of $900,000 if he’s called up to the majors, but until that happens he’s earning around $10,000 per month in the minors after being paid approximately $83 million during the past nine seasons.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.
Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.
A nice pickup for Chicago.