|Hideki Matsui's big-league career may be over after being designated for assignment by the Rays. (Associated Press)|
The Rays have designated Hideki Matsui for assignment to make room for the recently acquired Ryan Roberts, the team announced on Wednesday.
Matsui, 38, appeared in 34 games for the Rays, hitting just .147/.214/.221 with two home runs and seven RBI in 34 games and 103 plate appearances. Matsui didn't have a hit in his last nine games.
His last at-bat as a Ray, and likely as a Major League player, came Sunday when he popped up with two on and two out to end a 2-1 loss to the Mariners.
The Rays singed Matsui to a minor-league deal on April 30 and called him up on May 29. Matsui hadn't found a team until the Rays found themselves with a need for a DH and an occasional outfielder earlier in the season. He's unlikely to find another team.
Matsui played 10 years in the big leagues, hitting .282/.360/.462 with 175 home runs. He was the 2009 World Series MVP with the Yankees in his last season in New York. He played one year with the Angels and another with the A's before joining the Rays this season.
Matsui played 10 years with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan after being a first-round pick out of high school. Matsui was a star even before his professional career began and was the most popular player in the country -- even after Ichiro Suzuki's great success in the United States. He won three Central League MVP awards in Japan as well as three Japan Series titles, including one Japan Series MVP.