With about two hours left before a contractual deadline, the Yankees and Hideki Matsui inked a four-year, $52 million deal for the outfielder to remain in pinstripes. The contract makes Matsui the highest played Japanese player in the Majors, with a yearly salary that is $2 million more than Ichiro Suzuki has with the Seattle Mariners. Arn Tellem, Matsui's agent, was pleased that a deal was reached and that 31 year-old Matsui "hopes to retire in a Yankee uniform." Over his three-year career in the Unites States, Matsui has been amaizingly durable, playing all 487 games that he's been with the team. In fact, his consecutive games streak is 1,737 games, which stretches back to August, 1993 when he played in Japan.

Last season, Matsui had his best season with the Yankees, hitting .305 with 116 RBI. Matsui has at least 100 RBI in each of his first three seasons, a remarkable feat that only Albert Pujols has done since 1940.

If you ask us, re-signing Matsui was one of the most important things the Yankees have done this off-season. It remains to be seen what other moves Brian Cashman will make before baseball resumes next Spring. It's clear the Yankees need more than Matsui to win another World Series, but sometimes holding onto things is important too. Yeah, that Pettitte thing still hurts, doesn't it.

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