LOS ANGELES – Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara and Hiroki Kuroda all became free agents Sunday after the Japanese trio did not re-sign with their respective teams.
Matsui’s exclusive negotiating window with the Los Angeles Angels closed Saturday, as did Uehara’s with the Baltimore Orioles and Kuroda’s with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the three are now free to speak to any team.
The Angels have decided not to offer the 36-year-old Matsui a new contract for next season after the 2009 World Series MVP hit .274 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs. His OPS was at .820.
Matsui issued a statement saying, “At the request of my agent, I will refrain from commenting on my contractual situation during the negotiating period.”
The 35-year-old Uehara is coming off a solid season in 2010, winning the closer’s job during the second half under new manager Buck Showalter.
Uehara had 13 saves in 15 opportunities with a 2.86 ERA and a WHIP of 0.95.
Kuroda, also 35, had his best year with the Dodgers, winning in double digits for the first time with 11 victories and an ERA of 3.39 while pitching more than 196 innings.