Outfielder/designated hitter Hideki Matsui will announce his retirement from Major League Baseball tonight, according to Jack Curry of YES Network:
Hideki Matsui will announce his retirement tonight, according to Sankei Sports. He was one of the classiest players I ever covered.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) December 27, 2012
Matsui will hold a press conference in New York tonight to make the announcement. Curry notes that the 38-year-old is one of the "classiest players" he ever covered, and that sentiment is being shared by many journalists following the news of his pending retirement.
Matsui signed with the Tampa Bay Rays last April and spent the beginning of the year as a DH and outfielder for the club. However, after hitting only .147/.214/.221 with one double and two home runs over 95 at-bats for the Rays, Matsui was released.
Matsui spent the 2011 season with the Oakland Athletics, hitting .251/.321/.375 with 28 doubles and 12 home runs over 517 at-bats.
Despite the uninspiring end to his playing career, Matsui was a solid major league after making the jump from Japan and joining the MLB ranks in 2003. He hit .290/.369/.479 from 2003 through 2010 as a member of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels.