New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui said on Wednesday he believes the team will benefit from the moxie of southpaw veteran Randy Johnson, who joined the American League club in a trade and signed a two-year, $32 million contract extension.
“This will be wonderful for our entire team,” said Matsui.
“He (Johnson) will be a powerful addition as we aim for the championship.”
The Big Unit, who is 41, is expected to bring experience, power and depth to a revamped rotation in the Bronx after leaving the Arizona Diamondbacks in a multi-player trade.
Matsui also said he’ll have the same personalized Mizuno bat from last season made for him — an 86.5-cm, 900-gram maplewood — as he enters his third season in the major leagues.
“I’m confident that I will get results if I strongly believe that we can become champions. I believe this will be a good season,” Matsui said.
Matsui hit .298 with 31 homers and 108 RBIs in 2004.
Hawks sign two
The Associated Press
Utilityman Jolbert Cabrera will play in Japan next season with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. The team also announced the signing of third baseman Tony Batista to a $15 million, two-year contract Tuesday. Batista hit 32 homers and drove in 110 runs for the Montreal Expos last season. He has also played for Baltimore, Arizona and Toronto.
“We expect a lot from him,” Fukuoka manager Sadaharu Oh said. “He has a wealth of major-league experience.”
Batista, a two-time All-Star, said on Sunday that he had signed with the Pacific League team. Several major league clubs, including Tampa Bay, Houston and Detroit, showed interest in Batista, but none came close to matching Fukuoka’s offer, he said.
The 32-year-old Cabrera, released by Seattle last week, hit .270 with 47 RBIs in 113 games for the Mariners last season. He also played seven positions.
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