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Hideki Matsui, a Japanese player, played for a Japanese baseball team, then the New York Yankees for several years, then several more U.S. teams. On July 28, 2013, he signed a final one day contract with the Yankees, in order to retire as a Yankee.

How, if at all, did that affect the Yankees' 40 man roster? 1) Did they pick a day when they had only 39 men because of injuries or other reasons, making Matsui the 40th for one day? 2) Is there a "window" of say, 24 hours whereby the Yankees could temporarily have 41 men, as long as Matsui leaves within that window? 3) Or did the Yankees actually have to make a roster move to accommodate Matsui.

  • Or potentially 4) the whole "one day contract" thing is a nice bit of marketing, but actually not a player contract at all so has no bearing on the roster. – Philip Kendall Jan 2 '16 at 16:40
  • Other than for Rule 5 draft picks, there is no requirement to place a signed player on any particular roster, including the 40-man roster. – chepner Apr 17 '16 at 13:31
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This article explains the "one-day minor league contract"(1) Matsui signed, for a Yankees affiliate. This did not affect the Yankees' 40-man roster(2).

In baseball, the one-day contract is typically a minor league deal. The Yankees, for example, would have needed to clear a spot on their 40-man roster to actually sign Matsui this week, so there was a bit of stagecraft at work. An announcement that Matsui was retiring as a member of the Trenton Thunder would have carried considerably less heft, though it probably would have been more accurate

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