FULL COUNT: Godzilla retires as Spring Training nears

As expected, former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui officially retired on Jan. 3. The Houston Astros had been interested in 38-year-old, but injuries forced him from playing in the World Baseball Classic and ultimately out of baseball.

Matsui enjoyed success throughout his two decades in Japan and the majors, winning championships in both leagues. He was a nine-time all-star and three-time Japan Series champion before signing with the New York Yankees in 2002. Matsui went on to make back-to-back all-star appearances in 2003 and 2004, yet fans remember him for his six RBIs against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 2009 Fall Classic that clinched the World Series and solidified him as the MVP.

In his post-pinstripe days he found a niche as a designated hitter during one-year stints with the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays.

Elsewhere around the league, teams are getting their Spring Training rosters in order with March fast approaching and several free agents will be returning to Japan.

The Rangers re-signed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama to a minor league contract. The 36-year-old will compete for a roster spot during spring training. Texas is also looking at adding free agent infielder Kensuke Tanaka, who was a teammate of pitcher Yu Darvish with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Baltimore pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery and will try to secure a spot in the Orioles rotation this spring while first baseman Travis Ishikawa hopes to make the big league roster.