Ex-Yankee slugger Hideki Matsui retires

32) Hideki Matsui - Designated hitter Age: 35

32) Hideki Matsui - Designated hitter
Age: 35
2009: .274, 28 HR, 90 RBIs, .367 OBP

Matsui had a somewhat injury-plagued 2009, but finished the year as a World Series MVP.

Ken Davidoff says: It comes down to, how important is it for him to remain a Yankee? Prediction: Yankees, one year, $7 million.

UPDATE: Matsui went to Anaheim for 1 year, $6.5 million. >> Vote: Who should the Yankees sign? | Who should the Mets sign?

Photo Credit: AP

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Hideki Matsui, who earned World Series MVP honors in 2009 after propelling the Yankees to their 27th championship, announced his retirement Thursday.

Nicknamed "Godzilla" for his pop at the plate during a stellar career in Japan, Matsui, now 38, lost nothing in translation when the Yankees signed him in 2003.

After starring for a decade with the Yomiuri Giants, Matsui played seven seasons for the Yankees, hitting .292 with 140 homers and 597 RBIs.

In his final game as a Yankee, Matsui knocked in six runs in the sixth and deciding game of the 2009 World Series as the team won its first championship in nine years. He retired with a .282 average and 175 homers in the major leagues after rounding out his 10-year big-league career with the Angels, A's and Rays.

In a statement, Yankees captain Derek Jeter praised Matsui for his clubhouse presence and performance under pressure.

"I've had a lot of teammates over the years with the Yankees," Jeter said. "But I will always consider Hideki one of my favorites."

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Mets sign pitcher

The Mets signed lefthanded pitcher Aaron Laffey to a minor-league contract. The 27-year-old was invited to spring training. Laffey finished 4-6 last season with a 4.56 ERA in 22 appearances (16 starts) with the Blue Jays.

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