On Matsui’s knees and free agency

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As free agents go this winter, Hideki Matsui could be a valuable one for a team in need of a DH. At his age, he won’t demand a long-term deal, and as we saw this year, when healthy, he can still hit. But make no mistake about it: Matsui is a DH.

In an excellent piece about Matsui’s medical history, David Waldstein talks with Scott Rodeo, the doctor behind Matsui’s knees. Although Hideki and his agent Arn Tellem say he could still play the outfield, Dr. Rodeo isn’t so sure about that.

Basically, Matsui’s knees are ticking time bombs. He has to be monitored continually and could need another procedure to remove loose cartilage from his knee. To rehab, Matsui must strengthen the surrounding leg muscles, and he will probably get microfracture surgery after he retires. According to the doctor, to do so now would cost him a full season of rehab. With this medical history in mind, Rodeo would not be too comfortable with his patient roaming the outfield:

Rodeo operated on Matsui’s arthritic knees a year ago. With careful supervision by the trainer Gene Monahan, he monitored Matsui’s progress throughout the season, helping him to be at optimal health for the postseason.

Now a free agent, Matsui is scheduled to see Rodeo again soon. A magnetic resonance imaging test will probably determine whether Matsui needs to have the procedure repeated. Either way, Rodeo said, Matsui could play some outfield next year.

“I think that he will probably be able to do it up to a point,” Rodeo said. “If he plays four or five games a week out there, it might start to bother him. There’s probably some level he can establish where he can play two or three days a week, but not four or five. My sense is that if you put him out there every single day, he might get into trouble.”

Meanwhile, last night at the Joe Torre Safe at Home gala, Matsui again reiterated his desire to stay with the Yankees. For the Bombers, it’s a nearly perfect situation. Matsui wants to stay and would probably be willing to settle for a reasonable amount of money. The team could sign Matsui to a short deal, and he wouldn’t need to play the outfield. Coming off of a 131 OPS+ season in which he only DH’d, Matsui can just hit and also rest those knees.

Even if the Yanks opt to let Matsui walk, he should still be viewed as a DH. Any team planning to place Matsui in the outfield would be incurring a significant amount of medical risk. He was the third most productive AL DH last year and could extend his career by giving up those dreams of returning to the outfield. I know the Yanks want to get younger and more versatile with their roster construction, but letting Matsui walk would be a mistake this winter.

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  • RichYF

    Letting him walk and not replacing his bat would be a mistake. If there are no suitable replacements (Dunn comes to mind), I would take Matsui back on a 1/8 deal.

    With Matsui at DH, I would be hesitant to re-sign Damon and slot him in LF. He shouldn’t be counted on to hold up over the course of yet another season. Can he? Sure. But I wouldn’t bet money on it, nor should the Yanks. If a younger LF is acquired via trade or FA, then I’d say Matsui is more likely to sign a 1-year deal than Damon. At $10 million per year, however, I’d rather have Dunn for DH. He can play RF/1B as well and is quite productive. Depends on the asking price though. Probably not going to happen.

    • TheLastClown

      Why does Dunn come to mind? The Yanks aren’t going to trade for him and he doesn’t hit FA till after next year.

  • Bill Style

    Matsui being an outfielder once again in his career seems like a pipe dream, I’m all for bringing him back as a full time DH again. Trying not to let his WS MVP award shed bias on my opinion, the key fact here is that he was the 3rd best DH last year. He still has one, possibly two yrs left, let him retire a Yankee

  • daneptizl

    Dr. Rodeo.

  • cr1

    If he does have the procedure repeated, Matsui will be able to use the immortal line, “This is not my first Rodeo.”

  • GG

    it sure would be a mistake to let him walk unless its part of a plan to get Matt Holliday….This guy produced out of the five hole as did Damon from the two hole and you can’t replace 2 big bats with 1, why I’ve never really understood the leaving the DH spot open for the older guys type of thing. That leaves you with no “A Lineup”. I’d keep Hideki and get Holliday for under 100 mil because I think they could very well get him for that.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Yeah, they could get him for that if it’s a short deal with a high AAV. Holliday’s most likely not going to sign with anyone for under 5 years.

      • GG

        The Yanks should be willing to give him five years than I’d say, but I doubt they are going to make a play for him

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          I don’t think they should. That’d be three corner spots locked down for a long time; that’s not something the Yankees should be looking to do.

          • pete

            not sure what you’re responding to, but if it’s my post, I was going on the assumption that nobody there was getting more than 2 years (really 1+option for damon, 1 for hazmat, 1 for cameron)

            • pete

              wow nevermind. for some reason your comment was showing up at the bottom of the screen, underneath my comment when i posted that. completely ignore it then.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    My DH Wish List:

    1. Matsui
    2. Damon
    3. Johnson or Thome
    4. No idea

  • jim p

    Looking over League Leaders over the years i was impressed to see Mats in the top 15 or better (every year except the injury years), in almost every offensive category. And that included RISP and “clutch” situations, and didn’t matter much a lefty or righty pitcher. (I stupidly did not save the link and now can’t get back there.)

    If he can play the outfield once or twice a week, opening up the DH spot for our Aged Stars, I think it would be just plan dumb to let him walk. I’d want to keep him even if he can’t play OF, but with 40 or 50 games out there, that makes it a no-brainer, imo.

    • Bob Stone

      Totally agree.

  • pete

    sign damon, matsui, and cameron. Let the combination of melky, gardner, and pena be hairston’s replacement (not that i have anything against hairston, but melky’s a better bat, and gardner+pena is a better defensive replacement and pinch runner, and the trio is at about the same cost, and each are under 25).

    I really think the yanks ideal outfield/dh situation next year is one that has a lot of flexibility, and having cameron in center, damon in left, and matsui at DH gives us just that – in fact it forces it. Cameron Damon and Matsui are all old enough that their production would be maximized, both offensively and defensively, by the occasional day off. With Tex, Cano, and Swisher in the lineup every day, and the combination of jeter, a-rod, matsui, damon, jorge, cameron, and melky filling it out, the yankees should have a strong enough starting lineup and bench every day to spread the rest around.

    I also feel like if he only had around 4 starts a week in the field, Damon could be a much better fielder than he was last year – closer to a -10 UZR/150 guy than a -20. I know a lot of people (though not so much here as elsewhere) are wary of the “logjam” problem, but if the players you are leaning on are older and prone to nagging, performance-decreasing injuries, then wouldn’t it be better to have more of them, so as to take the pressure off? Obviously a bounty of quality younger players would be preferable, but that isn’t exactly a realistic option. Gardner and cabrera are passable players, sure, but I think their highest value comes out of their ability to give the yankees the ability to rely on older players with higher offensive value without having to worry about them falling apart, or off a cliff.

    To me, the “logjam” issue is one that is of much greater significance to people whose minds are incapable of grasping the idea of anything other than a set-in-stone, easily visible system that is fairly consistent with common historical practice. I would hope that a major league manager would be capable handling such a “problem,” since it would really be one of very few applied aspects of his job. I have a lot of faith in Girardi’s ability to maximize player production on a macro level over the course of a season, especially after watching his management of the bullpen all season. If he can do that with the bullpen, why wouldn’t he be able to do it with a “logjam” at the outfield/dh position, especially when the players making up that logjam are all players who would likely perform best in roles ranging from “somewhat reduced starter” to “highly functional bench player”?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      sign damon, matsui, and cameron


      • pete

        were going streaking.
        steaks and blowjobs for all

      • Bob Stone

        Sign Damon, Matsui and Pettitte (you can add Cameron if you want, but it’s not essential). If the Yankees do that, I’m optimistic about Championship #28.

        • pete

          i wouldn’t say cameron is essential, but i do think that he would vastly improve the Damon + Matsui situation, since you could rest one of those guys (and DH the other) without having two outfielders with an average OPS+ of 90

  • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I think I’d change the last sentence a bit:

    “I know the Yanks want to get younger and more versatile with their roster construction, but if he can be brought back on a one-year deal, letting Matsui walk would be a mistake this winter.”

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      From everything I’ve read, Matsui would be amenable to a 1 year deal (at the right salary).

      Damon, I’m not so sure. One plus a team option w/ a minute buy-out is the best I’d offer Johnny, and I think he will get a better offer than that from another team.

      So that would necessitate Cameron at least being discussed.

  • Joe LA

    I’m happy to have the quote, but isn’t conducting a media interview on the problems of one of your patients a doctor-patient confidentiality breach? I realize he isn’t talking about cancer or anything, but when the player and agent say one thing and then his doctor comes out and says something completely different, he probably isn’t getting permission from Matsui to talk about his condition. It just seems unprofessional to me.

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Yeah, it does seem a little strange. He didn’t really contradict what Matsui and his agent are saying (it’s a matter of degree, I suppose), but he probably shouldn’t be saying anything, whether he agrees with Matsui/Tellem or not.

      • Bob Stone

        I agree that he shouldn’t be saying anything unless he was given permission by Matsui (or Tellem from Matsui).

        Otherwise it is a complete breach of Doctor/Patient confidentiality.

  • Neil

    Does anyone besides me think that JUAN MIRANDA can be part of the solution at DH?

    He could be the primary DH against RHP, with Posada playing DH against LHP with Cervelli starting at Catcher against LHP.

    Or perhaps when Jackson is ready to come up stick Swisher ar DH, Melky at RF, and A-Jax in CF?

    • Free Mike Vick

      i like Juan Miranda a lot.

      his minor league numbers are actually very comparable with Kendry Morales’

    • pete

      “Does anyone besides me think that JUAN MIRANDA can be part of the solution at DH?”

      no. juan miranda will never dh for this team. we can trade him to a really bottom-of-the-barrel team for an old and expensive reliever, but probably won’t get much more out of him than that.

      “He could be the primary DH against RHP, with Posada playing DH against LHP with Cervelli starting at Catcher against LHP.”

      the yankees will face LHP wayyyyy more times this year than i’m comfortable with starting francisco cervelli

      “Or perhaps when Jackson is ready to come up stick Swisher ar DH, Melky at RF, and A-Jax in CF?”

      What exactly is it about swisher that screams DH to you? His +5 UZR? His staggering 29 years of age? And i’m assuming that Melky’s career sub-100 OPS+ indicates to you that he’d be an ideal RF?

      Don’t get me wrong, an outfield of Ajax-Gardner-Melky would be sick defensively, and probably fun to watch. But by no means would it be an everyday outfield on a championship club. As good as our infield is offensively, having a collective outfield OPS under 100 is not an appealing thought.

  • dalelama

    One thing some of the dilettantes who blog here forget when they are creaming over Cano or titillating over Tex or swooning over Swisher is that Damon and Matsui are clutch while most of the others other than Derek tend to spit the bit when it matters the most. I cant think of any Yankee I want batting when the game is in the balance more than Matsui. Whatever the Japanese word is for bad ass warrior it fits Matsui.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      One thing some of the dilettantes who blog here forget when they are creaming over Cano or titillating over Tex or swooning over Swisher…

      Tone it down a bit. This isn’t the first time we’ve asked you to do that. Here are the commenting guidelines. Read them. Follow them.

      • dalelama

        You are joking ????

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      You do realize you’re agreeing with most of the people you’re insulting, since most people would like to see Matsui back in 2010, right? You also didn’t use the word “titillating” correctly. Just sayin’.

      • dalelama

        Excuse me didn’t realize it was so dainty here. I have seen much worse and more profane often.

        • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          This is in no way a relevant response to my comment. It’s like you’re responding to someone else.

          • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

            To say nothing of proving he doesn’t have a clue what titilating means.

        • pete

          it’s not dainty. it’s plain grammar, and confusing an adjective for a verb is going to unintentionally weaken any argument you make, anywhere. Also, using alliteration and thinly veiled, politically incorrect insults as a means of strengthening your argument is extremely counterproductive.
          As for a completely undeserved response to your actual argument, well here goes:
          First off, most of the people here would welcome matsui back with open arms, provided it was on a one year or one-plus-option deal of reasonable ($10-12 mil) AAV. Same for damon. So, like the honorable congressman said, you’re agreeing with the people you are trying to insult. Secondly, the whole team was brilliant in the clutch this year. Damon, Jeter, and Matsui accounted for how many of the yankees walkoffs this year, 2? (A-Rod did the same all by his lonesome, though including the walkoffless deadweight Jeter makes your situation seem worse). Thirdly, who is “creaming over cano, titillating (sic) over Tex, or swooning over Swish”? The general perception on this site of those three players is pretty much exactly what it should be – that all three are, to varying degrees, highly useful, productive players.
          All three, in fact, are more valuable players than damon or matsui. Not to knock either of those guys, but damon’s defense is awful and hideki is a DH, whereas cano plays acceptable d, tex plays average (at the least) d, and swisher plays above average d. Tex, meanwhile, is a much better offensive player than matsui or damon at this point in their careers, and cano and swisher have very similar offensive production to damon and matsui.
          So what exactly was the point of your post? Had you just said “bring back matsui and damon, they’re useful pieces and make the most sense from a flexibility standpoint, both for 2010 and beyond,” nobody would have had any problem with what you said. You may have gotten some argument, but most people here agree with that sentiment, so maybe not. But by unfoundedly ridiculing both the writers and readers of the blog on which you are yourself commenting, you make a complete and total ass of yourself, and will be called out on it. If you want to pull that weak shit then go spill your cyber-puke on an ESPN blog, or the like. But expect people here to actually read what you say, and if it deserves to be ripped to shreds, then it will be.

          • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Preach it.

          • Joe S.

            I agree with everything you said except “tex plays avg. (at least) d. ??? Tex is easily one of the best defensive 1B in the league

            • pete

              hence the “at least.” It’s very hard to know for sure how good his defense is, since he’s the only 1B I watch regularly. UZR says it was average this year (though historically it’s been pretty far above average), and while it did seem like he was better than that, I’ll allow that UZR is probably more accurate than my hugely biased and incomplete memory.

              • TheLastClown

                Yeah, though I think it’s more accurate to say Teix’s range is average *at least.*

                UZR can’t really be conflated with the overall concept of ‘D’ at 1B.

                Other aspects of Teix’s ‘D’ are excellent and are not reckoned into UZR.

                Throws to 2nd, great picks on errant throws from the other three IFers, etc.

                But grammar and logical arguing FTmofugginW.

  • Free Mike Vick

    if the team’s true plan is to indeed get “younger and more versatile with their roster construction”

    then i see no way Matsui could be brought back.

    and heck…if you bring both damon and matsui back…and add a 37 year old CFer. Thats the exact opposite of “getting younger”.

    • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Not if it’s for 1 year. The interest in getting younger is a long-term concern, signing a guy like Matsui for 1 year doesn’t run counter to that concern/strategy. In fact, the opposite could be argued, on a macro level, since you’re not locking down a roster spot or fielding position with player who during the later years of his contract will be old. Signing guys to 1 year deals doesn’t run counter to the goal of getting younger, except for in the most immediate future, and it certainly doesn’t hurt roster flexibility.

      • Free Mike Vick

        ok then…let me word it differently.

        If the plan is to put a younger more versatile team on the field for the 2010 season. Bringing back hideki matsui does not accomplish that.

        • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah, but I don’t think the point is to get younger and more versatile for the 2010 season, I think those are long-term concerns.

          And to be honest, I kind of question whether this getting younger and more versatile thing is really as big a concern as people think it is. I think the Yankees are settling into their operating pattern already. I think the point is to have cheap young talent come up to MLB through the farm system so they don’t have to sign older and more expensive role players as often and not have multiple DHs on the roster and guys on long-term deals past their prime, but that doesn’t mean the team itself will be much younger in any given season. They’ll always have the A-Rods and the Texes on the roster, it’s not like they’re suddenly going to have a roster like the Rays’ roster.

          All I’m saying is… I think the point was to get younger and more versatile than they were a few years ago, and I think they’re already well on that path. I don’t think the change from the current roster construction, from here on out, will be as substantial as some people make it out to be.

          • TheLastClown

            Your ideal team has got to be “versatile”, that is to say they have to be able to play and win all types of games. They have to have strengths in most facets of the game. Anybody’s “ideal team” has to be built with versatility.

            The concepts of youth & versatility aren’t mutually exclusive.

            When the aged & aging vets on the team had names like Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, Kevin Brown, Jason Giambi etc., it was an imperative to get younger, because the production coming from these vets wasn’t acceptable. Getting younger, when the old guys suck, is equal to getting ‘more versatile.’

            When your aged & aging vets have names like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui, etc., you’re getting great production out of them. THEY make you versatile. Exchanging them *HazMat specifically* for younger, less productive players makes you LESS versatile.

            • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Yup, just wanted to get on record here agreeing with this. I’ve made this case a bunch of times in other threads, it’s something people need to think about instead of just repeating the mantra of ‘get younger’ blindly.

          • Free Mike Vick

            I personally think a large part of Cash’s “versatility” plan is to have an open DH spot for his A-rods and Texs and jeters.

            i think a open DH spot would do wonders for this team. Giving players a blow without having to loose their bats…and also easing posada into a role that he is going to have to get used to if he wants to remain with this club.

            and if you have a matsui on the team it will obvioulsy be tougher to do that. Impossible? of course not. You can do it…but not to a degree you could without matsui here.

            plus you have to believe that all the ABs from different players in the DH role will equal matsui’s production…and you are keeping your players fresh for the long haul.

            • Free Mike Vick


            • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              So you want one of Brett Gardner, Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli, and maybe someone like Jerry Hairston getting at-bats in your lineup every day? You want one of those guys to be in your A-lineup, the absolute best lineup you can put on the field? I strongly disagree with that reasoning. Hideki Matsui played something like 140 games in 2009. If he plays 130 next season, that’s a bunch of games in which you can give your regulars some rest as the DH (in addition to the days when those guys just get full days off anyway). None of A-Rod, Tex or Jeter, or Posada even, need to DH so often that you need to have the DH slot open to a regular for all 162 games of regular season, not to mention the playoffs. It’s overkill, and it weakens the team.

              We’re talking about 1 year here, not a long-term strategy. Given the current roster construction and what it’s most likely to look like in 2010, the idea of not carrying a big bat to slot into your lineup as the DH in your A-lineup is not the best way to put this team together.

              • Free Mike Vick

                You resign johnny damon. and you give posada and damon a nice share of the DH at bats.(keeping in mind both of them can play the field…which gives you the ability to give some of the other guys half days off and not lose their bats)

                thats not so bad.

                sign a guy like xavier nady to put in LF when Damon is DHing…or even put melky out there….or i know how much people around here love them some 37 year old OFers…so mike cameron it could be. and Jerry Hairston Jr. started a good amount of games for the reds…he is more then capable of playing SS and 3B to give Jeter and A-Rod some half days off. OR heck i like ramiro pena give the kid a shot.

                and give Cisco a shot to get some serious time behind the plate when posada is DHing.

                keeps everyone fresh…infuses some younger talent into the mix.

                i don’t think its that crazy.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  Curtis Granderson is playing CF in this plan btw…

                • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

                  “i don’t think its that crazy.”

                  Well, it kind of is.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  bare bones.

                  i’m replacing Matsui with Posada and Damon.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Oh look, if they could make it work by acquiring different guys we’re not currently discussing, then sure, of course that’s a perfectly valid plan. Like I said above, though, for 2010, for that one year only, I just don’t know that it’s going to happen. And also note that I was only talking about not filling Matsui’s slot with an adequate bat, not arguing that slot has to be filled by a non-fielding DH-type. If you assume a Damon signing, then you’ve got 8 lineup slots pretty much filled-in already. I want that ninth slot, the slot Matsui is vacating, filled by a big bat, and whether it’s a bat that can play in the field or not (a la Matsui or Thome, etc.) is irrelevant to me.

                  Let’s take a look… You seem to be assuming the Yanks will sign Damon, so I’ll start with that assumption. Of the options you’ve addressed to fill Matsui’s slot, we’ve got something like: 1) nobody, 2) Nady, 3) Cameron, 4) Hairston, 5) Matsui.

                  1) Nobody – This has been discussed around here ad nauseum so I won’t rehash the whole argument. But, no, I don’t think this is the best way to go. If they wind up with this because other options don’t work out, then so be it, it’s not crippling. But it’s certainly not a desirable option. Ramiro Pena isn’t going to provide much value with the bat in 2010 and is certainly a huge step down from what a guy like Matsui could provide.

                  2) Nady – That’s a mighty big risk, considering the guy is rehabbing from his second TJ surgery. Pass if you’re planning on him being a regular in the DH or OF slots, I think he’s only a good sign if you’re not relying on him to play a big role in 2010.

                  3) Cameron – This could work. A Cameron signing, in combination with a Damon signing, could do the trick. He’s a big step down from Matsui with the stick, but he’s a good outfielder who offers some pop. Doable.

                  4) Hairston – You’re really stretching here. Jerry Hairston can play for the Reds all he wants to, that doesn’t mean he’s good enough to be a regular for the Yankees. Bench player? Sure, he’s good in that role. But he shouldn’t be a regular in the A-lineup for this club. Jeter and A-Rod don’t need so many days off that we need Hairston in this lineup just about every single day.

                  5) Matsui – A big bat whose presence on the roster doesn’t kill your flexibility – either contract-wise, since you don’t give him more than a 1-year deal, or DH-wise, since he’s not going to play every day and you can still get your regulars plenty of rest for the one season he’s with the team.

                  I don’t know, man… As far as 2010 is concerned, on a one year deal, I still like Matsui for this team. I could definitely see a Damon/Cameron combo, and who knows what else Cashman might pull off this offseason, but any option other than an option in which Matsui’s roster slot is filled by a bat adequate enough to be in the Yankees lineup on a daily basis is not an option I’d consider a goal as much as I’d consider it a disappointing fall-back.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “bare bones.
                  i’m replacing Matsui with Posada and Damon.”

                  But then who is replacing either Posada and Damon on the days when those guys are replacing Matsui? That’s the question. Don’t tell me it’s the three-headed Hairston/Ramiro/Cervelli monster. (Actually, Cervelli should really come out of this conversation anyway… No matter who they put in Matsui’s lineup slot, Cervelli’s getting his playing time as the starting catcher when Posada rests. He’s really kind of irrelevant to this question about Matsui’s slot other than to weaken your argument that Matsui’s slot shouldn’t be filled with another good bat, since on the days when Cervelli is in the game and Posada gets the day off instead of DHing – which happens relatively often, he does need full days off here and there – your plan would have both Cervelli and some other inferior bat in the lineup.)

                • Free Mike Vick

                  i guess we’ll see what happens.

                  i think its foolish to think matsui can keeping coming back every year on bad knees and maintaining his productivity.

                  like ben said, “Matsui’s knees are ticking time bombs”.


                • Free Mike Vick

                  is Cervelli and Cameron really that inferior?

                  or Cervelli and Xavier Nady?

                  or Cervelli and Mark DeRosa?

                  you can get by with 1 of those guys, could you not?

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Totally, but we’re talking about a one-year deal, likely for less then $10 million. If he goes down, you’re still left with your idea of signing nobody to fill his lineup slot, right? It’s not like the contract affects flexibility, either. His production is almost gravy, it’s playing with house money. Why do you care if he gets hurt if you’re ok with going into the season with Ramiro/Gardner/Hairston picking up his at-bats? That concern doesn’t make any sense.

                  Would you rather take the chance on Matsui or go into the season with one of Ramiro/Gardner/Hairston in the lineup every day? What happens when someone inevitably gets hurt, and you have at least 2 of those guys in the lineup every day, along with a healthy dose of Cervelli? All of a sudden your lineup isn’t so ferocious, and your depth is greatly compromised.

                  I don’t think there’s any way that you can argue they should go into the season without either Matsui or someone else acquired to fill his lineup slot. It’s clearly a losing argument.

                • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  re: your 9:29 comment… Did you read my comments above? I never argued that the guy in Matsui’s slot has to be Matsui himself, I argued that it can’t be the three-headed Pena/Gardner/Hairston monster. I want Matsui’s lineup slot filled by an adequate bat, that’s all.

                  I know how patronizing this sounds but I’m not saying it in a snarky way or with the intent to patronize you… Please read my comments, above, again. You’re substantially mischaracterizing my arguments.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  Where are you getting Gardner from??

                  i never said anything about gardner.

                  and all i said about pena and hairy were they could play SS or 3B when jeter and arod DH. Which they are going do anyway.

                  and you’ll get a FA to basically take Matsui’s spot on the roster (Cameron/Nady/DeRosa)

                  so…you have.

                  posada catching…damon DH…FA in OF

                  posada DH…Damon in LF…cervelli catching.

                  posada sitting…Damon DH…FA in OF…cervelli catching.

                  and i don’t think you’ll have many days when posada is sitting the same days as jeter or arod DHing.

                • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

                  Why would you want to replace Matsui with Mike Cameron, Xavier Nady, or Mark Derosa? First of all, I think you’re being way too optimistic about the prospect of Nady even being on the field, let alone being productive, Cameron had a 111 OPS+ last season, and Derosa only put up a 99 OPS+. Matsui ha a 131 OPS+ in 526 PA’s.

                  I think people are making way too big of a deal over Matsui’s ability to play the field. The bottom line is that he’s one of the most productive hitters being discussed as an option, and assuming we’re only talking bout a one year deal, it would be crazy not to bring him back. Especially if you’re replacing him with Mike Cameron or Cervelli/Pena/Gardner.

                • Big Rich

                  some would say its way too optimistic to think Matsui will match his productivity from last season. Or even stay remotely healthy.

                • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

                  Why? All you really have to assume is that he’ll be more productive than Mike Cameron/Ramiro Pena/Garbrera. The doesn’t seem unlikely to me. Health is a legitimate concern, but he did play 140 games this year, he’ll get regular days off, and you’re only committing yourself to one year. I’d much rather go to war with Matsui than without him, given the likely alternatives.

  • larryf

    We will be younger without Molina/Hairston/hinske. We’ve got some young arms in Joba/Hughes/Robertson. That said, I think we need to bring back Matsui. The guy is an unbelievable professional and even though he can’t run, can’t field, can’t slide and pulls off the ball for a few weeks a season-he should be a Yankee- batting behind A-rod who will hopefully hit 45 HR’s next year. Why is it that our 2 best (non-pitcher) world series guys were our free agents???

  • Wilcymoore27

    I’m already on record here: I want to see the Yankees bring Matsui back, even if he can only DH.

  • Stu H

    I can’t believe his doctor actually said that. Talk about a lawsuit waiting to happen. Matsui actually has a case that his doctor violated HIPPA standards by making that statement.

    Of course, I totally agree, and think this playing the OF daily business is just a bargaining tool, and really the Yankees are bidding against themselves for his services — and most importantly, they know it.

  • guy

    i had microfracture surgery (plus a few other procedures, not different from what godzilla will need) just after thanksgiving in 2007. granted, at the time i was 50 yr old, still male and, while considered to be athletic (high school & college sports and onceuponatime was a pretty decent raquetball player), definitely not a professional athlete.

    coming back from mf-surgery is not trivial. after verifying that the surgery was a success (that is, cartilage was healing/repaired in the way expected) i was cleared from rehab and only able to start working out last christmas.

    i spent a lot of time focusing on flexibility; yoga really helped, but still have a 5 degree reduction in full-bend in the repaired knee. due to the long layoff, i still have a 15% reduction in thigh circumference (read — loss in muscle mass) after weight training for the last 6 months (i suppose this is where it might help to have roger.clemens for a friend…).

    things are going well; but, i cannot jog any (appreciable) distance without the knee complaining and swelling. biking is ok, although i live where it is flat and am not sure i would want to push it on hilly terrain.

    don’t know how much outfielders really run; but, i had to give up my >35 softball league in 2006 before the surgery as i couldn’t run to the keg on 2nd base.

    i wish matsoo the best of luck, and would very much like to see him with the yanks … but, it won’t be easy.

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