Could Matsui stay in New York?By
But with the Mets? Some guy with the same name as me at MLBTR passed along this report from Newsday, where David Lennon speculates that Yanks’ DH Hideki Matsui could wind up in Flushing with the Amazin’s next year. Allow me to quote:
With Hideki Matsui telling friends he’d like to remain in New York above all else, as well as return to leftfield, it would be logical for the free agent to appear on the Mets’ radar this offseason.
In fact, Matsui is so eager to play the field again after a full year as the Yankees’ designated hitter that he’s also told people he would consider trying first base – a position he hasn’t played since high school.
One baseball official suggested that the limited duty for Matsui this season will work to his advantage in allowing him to return to the outfield. With less wear and tear at DH, it was a chance for Matsui to recharge, and another four months off during the offseason obviously will be a big help, too.
The Mets obviously need all the help they can get, but can Matsui hold up all year while playing in the field? In leftfield, I’m not so sure it could be done. Godzilla needed to have his knees drained a few times this year after doing nothing more than running hard around the bases. Maybe he could pull it off at first, but he’ll almost assuredly be a negative-UZR player there, likely Giambi-esque.
Of course, Matsui’s amazing production this year (.274-.367-.506 with 28 jacks) is going to make it real hard for the Yankees to let him walk away. Granting, he’s not worth his $13M salary, so it’s unlikely the team will offer his salary arbitration after the season, even though he projects to be a Type-A free agent. FanGraphs valued his 2009 production at $11M, though I would be shocked if he pulls down eight-figures next year. What do you guys think, does one year at $8M seem reasonable for Matsui’s services next year?