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Rays end Matsui’s stay in Tampa Bay

Kyodo

Veteran slugger Hideki Matsui has been released by the Tampa Bay Rays, the team said Wednesday.

The 38-year-old outfielder was designated for assignment on July 25 and had to be either put on waivers, traded or released by Aug. 3.

Matsui, a two-time All-Star while playing for the New York Yankees, went to the Los Angeles Angels in 2010 and the Oakland Athletics in 2011 before signing a minor league contract with the Rays in April of this year.

He earned promotion from Triple-A Durham to the major league squad on May 29, but struggled to a .147 batting average with two home runs and seven RBIs for the Rays in 34 games. He had gone hitless in his last 16 at-bats.

Now a free agent, Matsui may enter negotiations with any team for a new contract.