Last week the Rays designated Hideki Matsui for assignment and today they released the 38-year-old after he hit just .147 in 34 games.
It’s hard to imagine Matsui getting another big-league opportunity at this point, or at least not until he proves he can still hit a little bit in the minors.
Tampa Bay oddly called him up from Triple-A despite Matsui hitting just .170 in 13 games there.
Helluva career, both in Japan and America, but Matsui appears to be finished.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.