The Padres finalized a five-year deal with NPB reliever Yuki Matsui at the end of December. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the $28MM pact contained a pair of opt-out chances, as well as a conditional option for the 2028 campaign depending on Matsui’s elbow health.
A report from The Associated Press lays out the specifics of the 28-year-old’s deal. Matsui’s ability to opt out after the 2026 season is conditional on avoiding a Tommy John surgery or any other elbow injury that requires an injured list stint of 130+ days between 2024-25. The salary breaks down as follows:
- $3.25MM in 2024
- $5.5MM in 2025
- $5.75MM in 2026
- $6.5MM in 2027
- $7MM in 2028
If Matsui suffers a significant elbow injury, the 2028 salary becomes a conditional team/player option. He also receives full no-trade protection and can bump the value of future years’ payments by up to $1.4MM annually based on the number of games he finishes.
The first opt-out decision comes with two years and $13.5MM in guarantees remaining. Passan reported that Matsui would also have the right to opt out after the ’27 campaign. If he plays out the full contract, he’ll be a free agent after 2028 despite not reaching six years of MLB service, according to the AP. That’s a common provision for players who sign guaranteed deals after a stint in the KBO or NPB.