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.

Rays acquire Wilmer Font from Athletics

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In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.

This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.

Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.