Yanks, Giants talked Matsui

The End (of Pavano) is near
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From the Toronto Sun:

The Giants and the New York Yankees have discussed left fielder Hideki Matsui for a starter. Matsui does have a complete no-trade clause.

The article doesn’t say much more than that. Obviously the first two names that pop into your head when you hear “Giants’ starters” are Matt Cain and Timmy, but I’d be floored if the Yanks could get one of those two for Godzilla. Maybe they could land Jon Sanchez and some salary relief instead? The main obstacle would be getting around Godzilla’s no-trade clause, but I do think he’d waive it to reunite with Torre in Chavez Revine. Pac Bell…not so much.

(hat tip to MLBTR)

The End (of Pavano) is near
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  • Kanst

    If we could get Sanchez for Matsui that would be awesome. That would finally give us a good young lefty to stick in the rotation.

    • steve (different one)

      Can someone please explain what I am missing about Sanchez?

      He looks like he is a terrible reliever from the NL.

      Trading Matsui for him would be an awful, awful trade.

      What am I missing? seriously.

      • blah

        You aren’t missing anything. That would be a horrible trade. Sanchez is a lefty who throws hard and has no idea how to pitch. He gets hit hard and walks a ton of guys. He is the next Felix Heredia.

        Why would the Yankees trade for this guy when they can just claim him off of waivers in a couple years?

  • Glen L

    This is probably complete junk as I can’t see Matsui waiving his no-trade to play in a pitchers park for a crappy team. His cost of moving his porn collection across country alone would probably be too prohibative haha

  • eric from morrisania

    I’d trade Matsui to San Fransisco for two tickets to LAST YEAR’S all star game and the Giants collection of caps and helmets that no longer fit on Barry’s head.

    There’s no way we get anybody decent for Matsui, especially in the NL where he can’t be a DH.

    Maybe we could send him to Seattle where he could play with Ichiro and Johjima?

  • E-ROC

    Matsui and Marquez for Lincecum? Matsui and a player for Jonathan Broxton? I don’t see Matsui waiving his clause for the Giants, but for the Dodgers, ”yes.” He loves Joe Torre.

  • Rob

    PeteAbe mentions Lowry. And says Matsui would waive his NTC is asked.

    Lowry could be a good fit. He hasn’t been the same since being overworked in 2005, but if he returned to those levels he could be decent in Yankee Stadium. The rotation will need a lefty next year, and I doubt it will be Igawa.

    • steve

      whats wrong with pettitte being the lefty ?

    • Rob

      Will he return in 2009? Maybe, maybe not. Probably not a bad idea to have a cheap back up plan. Of course, they’d get Lowry+

    • nmc

      Um, Pettitte?

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    if we paid all of Matsui’s salary, could we get a Sanchez or Broxton? or thrown in with a Marquez-level guy?

    but i think the Yanks are all too aware of the extra revenue/marketing Matsui’s popularity brings in.

    • Glen L

      The dodgers didn’t want to give up broxton in a deal to get bedard .. i can’t see them forking him over for matsuit

      and yes i realize they would have given up kemp as well as broxton in a bedard move .. but bedard is far far more valuable than matsui

  • E-ROC

    I don’t think Lowry would make it in the AL East.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Me neither, but they probably could flip him to a pitching starved team (Mets, Phils, Cards) for something good.

  • Ivan

    I would trade Matsui like that but if I had too I probably trade him to San fran, I trade him for Jon Sanchez.

    He has the stuff to be a good #3 starter but also a nasty lefty arm out the bullpen which I feel would be more of a help in my opinion.

  • E-ROC

    If the Yankees are going to trade Matsui for a pitcher from the NL, they better make sure that pitcher has the stuff to hack it in the AL East. Not some cream puff, soft tosser.

  • E-ROC
    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      What is that a link to? Other than a video that doesn’t play.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      That’s insane. Dude throws 95 at the knees to K Kendall, 95 at the letters to K Lee, then drops an 82 mph yakker on someone else for a K. Hot damn.

  • E-ROC

    It was a link to Lincecum striking out 7.

  • h8r

    How about Matsui for Zito and $60M. No, make it 70.

  • kunaldo

    am i missing something? sanchez had a 1.5+ WHIP for the last two years! we dont need ANOTHER pitcher that lets up an inordinate amount of baserunners…

    matsui + prospect for lincecum, i’d go for…but sanchez, lowry, not so much….cain could be good perhaps, but i’m still not sold

    • Kanst

      Do you realize that both Cain and Lincecum are more valuable then Hughes, if we offered Hughes for Cain we would be turned down. Matsui and a prospect isnt going to do it

  • Rob

    Yeah, but Cain is 22 and strikes out a nice number with decent control while eating innings. Still, I can’t believe they had him throw 200 innings when he was 20. Just goes to show how far some organizations still have to go.

  • kunaldo

    yeah rob, i saw that and was like what the heck?? i mean, he threw about 160 the year before i believe…still a big jump though

  • brxbmrs

    Matsui isn’t worth much – he stinks defensively and is coming off knee surgery.
    He seems to love interleague though – I think he’s a .360 lifetime hitter.

    His big June pretty much made his whole season last year – 6 HR’s against Tampa that month when EVERYONE was killing the ball -Cano, Melk, Abreu all had great June’s.

    Would love to see the Yanks make any deal for him – even if its prospects and salary relief.

  • Glen L

    Seriously … there is no way the giants are trading lincecum or cain for a deal centered around matsui

    i’d prefer to get a positional prospect if anything …

  • Rob

    Yeah went from 19 IP at 17 yo to 79 IP at 18 yo to 160 IP at 19 yo to 200 IP at 20 yo. And he’s been at 200 each of the last two years. I guess he’ll be a really good counter example if he never has a significant injury and has the success that was predicted for him.

    But then it looks like they ruined Lowry to some degree. Linceucum seems better but he was slowly brought along in college.

  • Rob

    If Dodgers hadn’t signed Jones, maybe they could have had a shot at Loney. Would have saved LA 10 million too and Matsui is the better bat.

  • Rob_in_CT

    Lowry? No thanks! I just had a look at his numbers, and they’ve been bad. Even his best year, 2005, when you account for the fact that he pitches in the NL West, wasn’t all that impressive – it could’ve been impressive at the time, because he was 24 years old. But then he sucked for the next two years, which doesn’t indicate further development. It indicates that 2005 may be his ceiling.

    Last year, in the NL West, this guy walked 87 batters in 156 innings, with 87 ks. His ERA was basically 4. Move that guy to the AL East, and he will get hammered.

    Sanchez? 51 walks & 90ks in 92 career ML innings. The ks are nice, but not with that many walks. Looking at his minor league career… rushed much? This kid has thrown roughly 75 innings combined in AA and AAA. He’s got more major-league innings than in the high minors. And he clearly needs to work on his command. He will be 25 next year. He is a lefty, it’s true. He strikes guys out, yes. But he walks the ballpark right now. If you want to make something of this guy, in my opinion, you have to send him to Trenton for a while. And even then he might simply be a reliever for the big club some day.

    Matsui is still an asset. He’s not great, but what is it with kicking him to the curb for fringy pitchers?

    • brxbmrs


      He’s 34 in June, he’s been slipping defensively since he came here, he’s coming off knee surgery and had a serious wrist injury, he makes 26 mil the next two years and he’s come up small in October. We’ve got enough guys who can DH.

      I’d say the curb is perfect for him. If the Giants would pick up all of his salary, I think trading Sui for minor leaguers is fine.

      Sayonara Suisan.

  • kunaldo

    lincecum’s delivery is a thing of beauty….so awesome to watch…i wish we’d get him….it would take away the pain of cash trading away hughes for johan(if that ever happened)

  • Rob_in_CT

    Lincecum is SF’s Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, right? I mean, you can argue about which guy is/will be better, but he is their young stud #1 pitcher prospect, yeah? Of course we’d love to get him. But I can’t see how.

  • Tom G.

    Trading Matsui for mediocre to bad relief pitching seems a little premature to me, he’s been injured the past couple of years but it’s not like the guy is 40 and made of glass or anything.

    • Mitchell’s Eleven

      I agree. Still a solid veteran, and an absolute gamer to boot. You don’t throw guys like that to the side of the curb. Unless we’re blown away with an offer, you keep him.

      • Glen L

        I agree with your first 3 sentences … I take issue with the last insofar as I personally don’t feel you need to be blown over by an offer … I’d take a promising positional player for Matsui … I don’t mean a top 25 prospect, but someone with decent potential

  • trevor

    Matsui, marquez, miranda for lincecum

  • Glen L

    Lets say the Giants had those three guys you mentioned .. would you pull the trigger on that trade for Hughes? no way in hell .. why would the Giants do that?

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      hey, you never know until you ask. Kazmir for Zambrano? and Sabean’s done some crazy things over the years.

      • Glen L


  • Harry

    Thanks for taking care of the mobile web edition problems guys. i’ve been experiencing problems the last few days. Gr8 work as usual! Go Yankees! (There was no comment section on that post, that’s why i posted this here.)

  • Bo

    If they could get Lincecum or Cain that would be something.

    Than you can def see them moving for Santana.

  • trevor

    I wouldn’t accept that either but this is brian saeban here, not cash. I was just throwing names around there.

  • trevor

    I wouldn’t flip one of them for santana. Just think about the potential of a wang, pettitte, phil, joba, lincecum/ cain rotation. Why throw 150 mill at a declining star when we could be set up for the next 10 years with 3 guys in their early 20s

  • Jake

    Maybe Matsui, Horne, Marquez plus cash could get it done. That’s got be at least comparable to Rios, which the Giants were supposedly considering.

    Is Matsui, Horne, Kennedy too much for Lincecum?

  • Bo

    I was just thinking that Cash is smart. he ehars about Cain/Lincecum being thrown around for Rios. So he figures why not take a shot. Take Matsui a legit 100 rbi guy and throw in a pitching prospect and you may be able to steal one of these aces.

    Great move.

  • http://www.canyonofheroes.blogspot.com Mike Plugh

    You guys are hilarious. Prior to last season, everyone and their mother was predicting that Matsui would come back off the wrist injury and have his best season. He came back during the season with the big 4-4 and proceeded to crush the ball. This year he was a bit broken down and went into a few prolonged slumps. Suddenly, he’s so bad that all you can get for him is Lowry or potato chips? And, you’re for this kind of transaction? Funny how fast things change, huh?

    I think the truth lies somewhere in between the optimism of 2006 and the fatalism of 2007. Matsui is likely to do exactly what he always does. He’s going to hit around .300/.370/.490 and OPS+ about 125. He may have to do so from the DH more often than not, but those are very nice numbers for a DH. Also, and most importantly, he puts up the same numbers in the postseason, like the Captain. Clutch is an illusion, but always performing to you level under any siutation, pressure or otherwise, is the substance of that illusion. He’s affordable, works hard, keeps his mouth shut, and draws a fanbase of about 130 million people to the Yankees.

    Let’s stop being silly.

    • steve (different one)

      uh oh, someone insulted a japanese player, here comes Mike Plugh!

      just kidding around. very sensible post.

    • brxbmrs


      When Sui came back in September 06, the Yanks had a commanding lead in the East (after the 5 game sweep of the Sox) and Matsui did what he’s done alot of – hit bad pitching.

      His 4 for 4 was a joke – at least two were scratch singles then he slumped a bit and then he beat up teams like the O’s who were dying for the season to be over.

      Only reason I’d be surprised if the Yanks trade Matsui is due to his supposed popularity in Japan – I wonder what his value to the team is now that he’s had a injury laden season in 06 and last year was showing he was breaking down and couldn’t play the field anymore.

      As for the comparison with Jeter, where are Matsui’s rings? Never mind that, where is his big post season moment – against the Twins or before Game 4 in 04 – when everyone was hitting?

      Matsui is more than expendable.

      Clutch is not a figment of the imagination either – it seems the youngsters here haven’t seen enough baseball to realize that – hopefully you will.

  • trevor

    I doubt the giants want a package of matsui and pitching prospects. They want matsui and hitting prospects(tabata, jackson, montero,)

  • Jake

    Since I’m throwing out unlikely trade proposals, might as well take it all the way to its illogical conclusion:

    Yanks trade Matsui, Moose, Wang and Horne to SF for Cain and Lincecum.

    Yanks trade Jeter, Abreu and Farnsworth to LA (and Torre) for Kemp, Ethier and Broxton.

    Yanks trade Damon and Giambi to KC (which suddenly is spending money on overpriced, over the hill guys) for Alex Gordon and Billy Butler.

    Yanks field lineup of:

    Arod SS
    Butler DH
    Cano 2B
    Posada C
    Ethier LF
    Kemp RF
    Gordon 3B
    Melky CF
    Stop-gap 1B

    And a rotation of:


    After next year, we cut Pettitte loose and feature the Big Five.

    Then, we take the revenue sharing money we get from the Red Sox (as our payroll will only be $14) and buy a free agent 1B like Teixeira. You’re welcome, Cashman.

    • Rob_in_CT


  • The Scout

    The only way those deals happen is if you’re the GM of all the teams involved!

  • Eric

    This is a joke right?

    Trading Matsui for Lowry?

    That’s hilarious

    And can someone ban Jake if he was serious with that post.

  • Jake

    I appreciate the concern, Eric, but I was very clearly (I thought so at least) joking. I thought the reference to the $14 payroll might have hinted at it.

  • Spike

    Gotta love that stud Lincecum. How ’bout Matsui and Tabata for him? Done and done, I say.

  • Beau

    I like it Spike. Unfortunately they would never bite I think.

  • Eric

    I love how everyone throws prospects in these deals like they are expendable. What if the Yankee brass project Tabata to be a Manny Ramirez type? Would you just throw him in and say done? What if they see Horne as a shutdown 8th inning guy or a #2 starter? Just throw him in?

  • barry

    screw Lowry, He’s not much of anything. Get Cain by throwing in alot of extra meat and biting matsuis salary.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    I know Matsui’s value to the Yankees go well beyond what he gives on the field but it’s time to recognize the simple fact that the Yankees are first and foremost a baseball team. The Yankees are a better club without him, Damon give you more on offense and defense and the club is stuck with the designated albatross Giambi. He can’t even be used as a fourth outfielder, so if they get an offer, any offer, I hope they take it.

  • http://riveravenuewatch.blogspot.com Mike NYY

    Part of Matsui’s value is how he opens up the Japanese market. He`s worth more than what he does on the field. I wouldn’t trade him for les than Lincecum or Cain and I`d throw in some more prospects.

  • http://www.canyonofheroes.blogspot.com Mike Plugh

    “His 4 for 4 was a joke – at least two were scratch singles then he slumped a bit and then he beat up teams like the O’s who were dying for the season to be over.”

    You can make that same argument about 19 games vs. the Rays, Orioles, and 8 or 9 versus the White Sox, Rangers, and so on and so on. That’s baseball. Only someone trying to justify a particular point of view would take that perspective on the situation.

    “As for the comparison with Jeter, where are Matsui’s rings? Never mind that, where is his big post season moment – against the Twins or before Game 4 in 04 – when everyone was hitting?”

    This is a shoddy argument. The “rings” argument is one employed by philosophically immature thinking. Baseball is a team sport that largely relies on pitching, which has been more or less absent since Matsui has come to town. It is also predicated on a certain amount of luck in the playoffs, which the Yankees have not had in the least. I think your “post season moment” idea is also worthy of the Hall of Clutch. The big moment is an illusion. It’s largely based on doing what you do every other at bat with the context of the game wrapped around you. Someone throws a ball at you, you swing, you hit it. That’s it. The rest is out of your control. Matsui is like Jeter in that both players produce at the same level of metric excellence regardless of the situation. That’s the illusion of clutch. Look at the numbers…..or don’t and continue to live in Fantasyland.

  • http://www.canyonofheroes.blogspot.com Mike Plugh

    Also, Matsui’s value is linked directly with what he does on the field. What are you people smoking? His batting lines:

    2003 .287/.353/.435 and 109 OPS+
    2004 .298/.390/.522 and 137 OPS+
    2005 .305/.367/.496 and 130 OPS+
    2006 .302/.393/.494 and 128 OPS+
    2007 .285/.367/.488 and 123 OPS+

    Those aren’t HOF numbers, but he is 25-30% better than replacement level, and at a reasonable price. He is consistently a 25-30 HR-pace hitter every year. In the context of the Yankee offense he’s a 100 run/100 RBI guy every year, if you like counting stats. Where are you going to find those numbers at his price? How is his value primarily determined by his Japaneseness? That’s myopic.

    • Rob_in_CT

      Exactly! Matsui has been and remains a good player. Not great, but good.

      And if anyone thinks you can count on Giambi to stay healthy over the course of the season (even healthy enough to DH), I’ve got a bridge to sell ya. So we do need the guy. Then there is his NT clause to consider. If he would waive it (questionable), I’d trade him for the right package – but I’d kinda have to be blown away, meaning it’s a ripoff for SF. If Cashman can fleece Sabean and get Lincecum, great… and I’ll be looking around for the flying pigs.

  • MS

    Matsui, Horne, and Duncan for Lincecum. Then send Lincecum, AJ, and Kennedy for Santana. Yes, we give up 5 for Santana, we get Santana without giving up Hughes or Melky.

  • Jeff

    Lincecum is not going to be traded to the Yanks when the Jays have an offer that includes Rios who is a much better value.
    The idea is that Matsui goes for lefthanders Noah Lowry or Jonathan Sanchez. “Lowry, 27, went 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA this season. In his career, he’s 40-31 with a 4.03 ERA. Sanchez, a 25-year-old reliever, was 1-5, 5.88 in 33 games.” – Newsday.com.
    Sorry he is worth far more than that. If you talk about a player that plays with the team concept of getting the runner over you won’t find any better. As long as his knee got cleaned up well I have the feeling he will slip back in behind A-Rod. He still has enough power to make hitters pay.
    And as Mike mentioned his value off the field is huge brinnging in plenty of Japanese fans… he’s very popular there where they get to see his personality. The revenue we’d lose for yankee games becomming less popular in Japan would probably cost the same amount as his salary.
    Plus just to top it off I don’t see him waiving his NTC to go to a team that stinks and that is in the NL.

  • Mg

    Cameron (Yuma): What is your sense on how the Matsui for Lowry/Sanchez deal is going down. Is it close or what?

    SportsNation Jayson Stark: (1:29 PM ET ) That deal was never close. The Giants are basically strolling through every position-player section of the department store, trying to get a feasible shopping list together. That’s all that was, I think — them just exploring whether Matsui is a realistic option. They haven’t gotten down to specific names, but obviously, they’d be trading pitching, because it’s all they have to trade.

  • Mike D

    Holy, crap. While I was sleeping yesterday, the Yankees went bankrupt. That’s the only reason I can think of where they’d consider unloading a 100 RBI machine for a relief pitcher with an ERA of 5.00!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      1) Sanchez is 24 and has plenty of promise, especially in the bullpen. To write him off as a “pitcher with an ERA of 5.00” is simply misinformed.

      2) The swap would be one based on current needs, not objective value. Yes, in 2008 it’s more than likely that Hideki Matsui would provide more value in terms of production than Sanchez. It’s almost always going to be the case when you pit an above-average corner outfielder against a reliever. But the Yankees have three starting outfielders and a starting DH (though you can debate the merits of Giambi’s health; I have no refutes). So they would be trading a surplus for a need.