Yuki Matsui Eager to Take on Crucial Bullpen Position for San Diego

Yuki Matsui (MLB/San Diego)

Yuki Matsui, the new reliever for the San Diego Padres, is looking forward to making a remarkable impact in the team’s bullpen. While he’s not expecting to become the closer right away, he’s eager to pitch in crucial situations and prove himself in the big leagues.

Matsui signed a five-year deal with the Padres worth up to $33.6 million, with the possibility of opting out after three years and $14.5 million if his pitching elbow remains healthy.

Yuki Matsui (MLB/San Diego)

Matsui is one of two new relievers brought in to replace All-Star closer Josh Hader, who became a free agent after last season. The Padres also signed South Korean reliever Woo-Suk Go to a two-year contract worth $4.5 million, with a mutual option and bonus provisions that could increase the deal’s value to $9.4 million over three seasons.

General manager A.J. Preller has indicated that the team will sort out roles during spring training, with Robert Suarez likely to begin the season as closer.

Matsui is focused on building trust with his teammates and pitching well when given the opportunity. He’s impressed by the Padres’ ace, Yu Darvish, and is excited to pitch alongside him.

Matsui had a successful career in Japan, earning five All-Star selections and leading the Pacific League in saves three times. He’s the youngest pitcher in Japanese major league history to reach 200 saves, with a career ERA of 2.40 and 236 saves. The Padres are hoping he can bring that same level of success to San Diego.