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Update: Padres officially sign reliever Yuki Matsui to five-year deal

A.J. Preller was looking for bullpen help and he has found some

Japan v MLB All Stars - Game 5 Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

According to Jeff Passan, the San Diego Padres have signed Yuki Matsui to a five-year deal worth $28 million. And yes, there are options because A.J. Preller loves those contracts. $5.6 million per year isn’t bad for a guy who could be one of Mike Shildt’s high leverage relievers this coming season.

The agreement was reported earlier this week by Yahoo Japan but the years and total money was off.

A move like this fits into San Diego’s plans, as it doesn’t seem like A.J. Preller will be spending more than $10 million on multiple players via free agency.

This obviously isn’t Shohei Ohtani but this could be another impactful Japanese player heading to the United States to be in Major League Baseball. Despite being 5’8’’, the 28-year-old posted a 1.57 ERA in 2023 and became the youngest in NPB history to reach 200 saves.

Matsui will join Robert Suarez, Enyel De Los Santos, Tom Cosgrove, Steven Wilson, Stephen Kolek (Rule 5), Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez in the bullpen for 2024. This is the type of move Preller and co. are known for making in the past.

It always seems like the Padres find a way to construct a solid back end of the bullpen regardless of if a Josh Hader type arm is exiting via free agency or not. For example, just a couple years back Suarez came over on a one year deal with a player option and he ended up being huge for San Diego in 2022.

Here’s what others have had to say about Matsui: