Hideki Matsui’s deal with Rays worth up to $900,000

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Tampa Bay seemingly didn’t have much need for Hideki Matsui when they signed him to a minor-league contract last month, but it turns out the price was low enough that it doesn’t really matter.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the details of Matsui’s contract and reports that he’d earn just $900,000 if the Rays call him up to the majors. By comparison, even with a limited market for his services last offseason Matsui managed a one-year, $4.25 million deal from the A’s.

Topkin also reports that Matsui is earning just $10,000 per month while at Triple-A, which is a low figure, but the Rays are also paying his public relations person and interpreter.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.