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Matsui joins the team, Vogt optioned to Durham

Posted May 29, 2012 by Roger Mooney

Updated May 29, 2012 at 03:07 PM

The Rays made it official: DH/OF Hideki Matsui has been added to the roster and will be eligible for tonight’s game with the visiting White Sox.

To make room on the 40-man OF Brandon Guyer (left shoulder surgery) was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

To make room on the 25-man roster Stephen Vogt was optioned back to Durham.

Matsui, who wore the No. 55 during his first nine years in the major leagues, will wear No. 35, leaving No. 55 to LHP Matt Moore.

Matsui, who turns 38 on June 12, was signed April 30 to a minor league contract. He was a free agent after spending 2011 with the Oakland A’s.

Matsui spent two weeks with the Rays extended spring program in Port Charlotte before playing 13 games with the Durham Bulls, where he hit .170 with a pair of doubles, four walks and four RBI. He served as the designated hitter in nine games and played left field in the other four.

Matsui joined the Yankees in 2003 after a 10-year career Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Central League. He hit .304 with 332 home runs with the Giants. He batted .285 with 173 home runs during his nine years in the big leagues, the first seven with the Yankees.

As a member of the Yankees, Matsui was a two-time All-Star and the MVP of the 2009 World Series.

Matsui is the fourth Japanese player to play for the Rays, joining 3B/2B Akinori Iwamura (2007-09), RHP Hideo Nomo (2005) and RHP Shinji Mori (signed in 2006 but did not play in the majors).

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