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.
The Angels announced on Tuesday night that the club acquired pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne from the Marlins for cash considerations. Pitcher Dayan Diaz was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Despaigne.
Despaigne, 31, posted a lackluster 5.31 ERA with 18 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 1/3 innings for the Marlins before being optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in early June. Despaigne has even struggled at Triple-A compiling a 4.47 ERA with a 41/13 K/BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings.
Despaigne has spent about equal time starting and relieving in his major league career, so he could operate as a swingman for the Angels. Otherwise, he’ll serve as pitching depth.