Hideki Matsui joins Yanks' front office

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Hideki Matsui has been hired by the Yankees as a special adviser to GM Brian Cashman, the team announced.

Matsui, in the full-time position, will work closely with Cashman and player development vice president Gary Denbo. Matsui, the team said, will spend the majority of 2015 traveling throughout the Yankees' minor league system, focusing on aspects of hitting with the club's managers, batting coaches and players.

A legend in Japan, Matsui played seven seasons with the Yankees, capped off by the World Series MVP he won with the team in 2009. He hit .615 (8-for-13) with three homers and eight RBIs in the Yankees' six-game series win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Matsui will work with the Yankees' minor league hitters. He will be in uniform advising them on all facets of the game.

"We need to continue to evolve and improve our player development systems," Cashman said Wednesday. "How do we do that best? We provide our young players access to people like Hideki Matsui, who obviously crossed over, not only from the amateur world from Japan to the pros, but from Japan to the United States' major leagues, and had amazing success. He was a pro in that clubhouse and on the field in every way, shape and form. He exuded everything that we thought it was to be a Yankee."

Cashman said he is open to expanding Matsui's potential, but for now the former player is focused on his new role.

"It is as much of a challenge for the players to develop. This is also a challenge for myself," Matsui said.