It’s not official yet, but based on reports it is expected that former Yankee World Series MVP Hideki Matsui will announce his retirement from Major League Baseball in the upcoming days.
Matsui is still just 38-years-old, but his production has dropped quite a bit since he left the Yankees after the 2009 season. He played in just 34 games for the Rays last season and hit just .147/.214/.221.
His career numbers were much better. He came over to America before the 2003 season and finished with a .282/.360/.462 line with 175 home runs over parts of 10 seasons. His best season was probably in 2004 when he played in 162 games, hit .298/.390/.522, made the All-Star team, and came in 24th in MVP voting.
Matsui hit .312/.391/.541 in 56 playoff games all for the Yankees. He won the World Series MVP in 2009 after he hit .615/.643/1.385 in six games with three home runs. It was a controversial move for Brian Cashman to let him walk after that season, but it turned out to be the correct one as he became a primary DH after that and his numbers dropped like he was falling off a cliff.
Still he was the perfect example of a classy player while he was in Pinstripes, a consistent contributor in the regular season, and stepped his game up even more in the playoffs. The Yankees couldn’t have dreamed that he would have contributed that much when they brought him over from Japan.
Congrats on a great playing career, Hideki. Hopefully you stick around in the MLB in some form or another. At the very least, we’ll be seeing you at Old Timer’s Day.