Report: Angels in serious discussions with Matsui


Via Jayson Stark, the Angels are in serious talks with free agent Hideki Matsui, presumably to have him replace Vladimir Guerrero at DH. Brian Cashman‘s made it clear that the team’s priorities this offseason are pitching and leftfield, going so far as to say that it’s easy to find another DH, so Matsui probably didn’t want to sit around and wait. Hard to picture the World Series MVP in another uni, no?

Update (2:40pm): Buster Olney says Matsui will get $6.5M over one year. The Yanks have to match that, right?

Update (3:17pm): Joel Sherman says that the Yanks told Matsui they couldn’t do anything with him until they addressed their pitching and leftfield issues, but Godzilla wanted a quicker resolution. He also mentions that The Halos will give Matsui a chance to play the outfield. Good luck with that.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Evil Empire says:

    That would suck … but its not surprising. It’d feel kind of like Bobby Abreu’s departure, though of course he wasn’t the fixture Godzilla was. Angels always did make the 2nd most sense for Matsui, next to the Yankees.

  2. A.D. says:

    Angles let their leadoff hitter & Ace leave, but make sure to stay on top of adding an aging DH.

  3. nathan says:

    Johnny Damon just heaved a sigh of relief.. as long as Matsui is out there.. the Yanks cud always resign him.. and i believe Cash was only targetting one of the 2… maybe Cash loses a little leverage now..

    • jsbrendog says:

      i don’t think so, because there are still more than enough comparable bats/no field dh types left out there to matsui, so if it was between damon and matsui then there’s no reason for cash to lose any leverage unless there is a dearth of all bat no field dhs all of a sudden

  4. Ansky says:

    I’d really like to see Hit-deki on our team next year. I dont if I’m being sentimental or what. Or maybe I’m just scared to death of that stupid revolving DH idea.

  5. Jordan says:

    Not matching that would be a mistake.

  6. Tank the Frank says:

    Whoa that’s hella cheap. Hella.

  7. pete says:

    tbh i’d rather just get damon to dh. he fills the two-hole perfectly and is still a little more versatile, despite the slight offensive dropoff. I could deffinitely deal with Melky in LF if we had a true DH.
    A lineup of

    would be pretty damn filthy, regardless of which position each of them plays, and a well-rested damon could probably play solid enough defense to allow you to play him in left when someone else needs to DH, which you couldn’t have done w/ matsui. still kinda sucks losing leverage to boras though

  8. vin says:

    I think 6.5 mil for 1 year is reasonable. He’s a proven performer – he hits good pitching, he hits lefties as well as righties. He fits the lineup perfectly.

    Coming into the offseason, I thought the only 2 ways he wouldn’t return to the Bronx would be if:
    1) he wanted to return to Japan
    2) he wanted a multi-year deal

  9. pollo says:

    fuck that. Get his ass back here.

    6.75? Cash don’t be stupid.

  10. jsbrendog says:

    you have to match that. how can you not? with the production he has given so consistently and the evidence that dh-ing will take strain off his knees and he will only miss the occasional few games when they need to be drained you cannot let him get away.

  11. Free Mike Vick says:

    This whole Matsui thing was kinda weird.

    all during the year you heard…Matsui’s gone…Matsui’s ain’t coming back..this and that. and then suddenly after game 6 he was back in the loop? after Cash kept saying he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about postseason numbers?

    i get the feeling the yankees never wanted Matsui back.

  12. Reggie C. says:

    Yanks have got to match that Angels offer & why not just go the extra half-million. Unless Cash thinks that Delgado or Thome are cheaper bets to match Matsui’s production , I think Mats at $7 mm is a safe bet.

  13. Jake H says:

    My guess is that his agent will call the Yanks before anything is signed to see if they want to match.

  14. radnom says:

    Match that.
    If the Angles beat it -> step on up Nick Johnson.

  15. CountryClub says:

    I’d love to see them match that…seems like a no brainer.

    But, maybe they really don’t want him back. It’s very possible.

  16. Bob Stone says:

    Let’s get it done – Offer Matsui $7 million for one year.

  17. vin says:

    I have complete faith in Cashman. If they don’t re-sign Matsui and/or Damon it will be for good reason(s). I’m very confident that next year’s roster will be better than 2009.

    With that said, I still think Cashman signs 2 of Damon, Matsui, or Cameron.

  18. r.w.g. says:

    Letting Godzilla go may give more credence to the idea of a rotating DH that has been proposed.

  19. MattG says:

    If Anaheim’s offer is $6.5M, I can’t imagine this happens soon. 1 year, $6.5M is Matsui’s worst-case scenario.

  20. pat says:

    Unless the Yanks aren’t going to sign Matsui at all, I really doubt he is going to jump all over a 6 million dollar deal without letting the Yanks counteroffer.

  21. Rose says:


  22. Thomas says:

    Offer him $6.5M plus one free BlueRay pornagraphic movie of his choice.

  23. vin says:

    I don’t understand… so the Angels ARE allowed to sign free agents? But they can’t re-sign their own guys, right?

    That team has a 1 way ticket to 3rd place all lined up. Even Haz-Mat couldn’t save them.

    In related news, has a good read on the Figgins to Seattle story:

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      To me, I think it’s rather smart of them to largely steer clear of the FA market and the resigning of their own guys. Chone and Lackey will be wildly overpaid, Matsui is better than Vlad at this stage and is on a one-year deal. What’s wrong with any of that? If they can get Matsui on a one-year, $6.5, I’d say it’s a great signing. Brandon Wood may even be better than Figgy, Lackey’s loss will hurt but it’s far too much risk and money to resign him for what he wants. They’d be better off standing pat.


    • Hughesus Christo says:

      Nah, they don’t. People have been bashing the Angels for being cheap/prospect-obsessed for ages. They still win the division every year.

  24. Rose says:

    If (sniffle…) Matsui does end up signing with LA…and he comes to a game at Yankee Stadium that I’m at…I’ll stand tall and clap my hands as loud as I can for him. What a poised individual. I used to be so happy when we needed something big to happen and he was up at the plate…because more often than not…he got it done.

    Cashman, I know your priority is LF and SP right now…but don’t be a fool! 1 year and $6.5M??? You paid that to gold plate your toilet a few years back. Don’t make this mistake!!

  25. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    PLUS….getting your World Series Ring in Yankee Stadium, with the fans going nuts has to be better than receiving it from a delivery man named “Cody”, who works for UPS.

    Come home, Hideki. Make it happen Cash Money Trillionaire.

  26. MattG says:

    Everyone that wants Cashman to match/up the Angels’ offer–Matsui was always your first choice?

    Cameron is my first choice. I hope Hideki keeps himself in play, but I’m not about to change my priorities because he is being courted by someone else.

  27. Kevin M. says:

    At least offer him $5.5 million….he’d probably take less to stay here. Don’t blow this one Cash this could come back to haunt us. Espeically losing him to a rival.

  28. Jeremy says:

    But Tim McCarver said the only other team that made sense for Matsui was Seattle because of Ichiro! There are no other Japanese superstars on the Angels! I don’t understand!

  29. charlespoet says:

    Are the Yankees the mystery 3rd team being mentioned in the Halladay trade? Probably not, but what is the thought of Joba being shipped to Toronto and the Yankees getting Lee – obviously there would be more than just Joba just not sure who else.

  30. cheddar says:

    $6.5M is well below the amount of revenue that he brings in, no?

    • Steve H says:

      That’s been debunked. If they take down a Japanese sign, they’ll find 1000 more signs to replace it.

      • cheddar says:

        Ah, Thanks. I thought maybe there was some specific revenue streams that he accounted for.

        That said, I’d still offer him $7M to stay, and let Damon walk.

  31. Ken says:

    You will see in the next day or two Halliday to Phils and Sheets will sign with Yanks. Although Cliff Lee may be available according to rumors ????

  32. ShuutoHeat says:

    Think the Yanks can edge the Angels out by offering the same amount?

  33. Jordan says:

    Well if playing LF again is what matters to Matsui, then goodbye. Look forward to the flailing that will be his arms when a C.C. slider whips by. Otherwise he can stay and tee off on Joe Saunders.

  34. Reggie C. says:

    According to Mike’s 3:17 update, it looks like Cash is willing to part with Mats.

    Make it worth it Cash …. you better have Delgado on speed-dial the moment Sheets signs.

  35. Rose says:


  36. Free Mike Vick says:

    Bye Matsui….

    Listen…he didn’t want this to drag out and he wanted to play the OF.

    Tip your caps…thank him for everything he did for the yanks…and move on.

  37. Reggie C. says:

    Roy Halladay to the Phils
    Cliff Lee to the Mariners
    Mariners send young players to the Phils

  38. Mattingly's Love Child says:

    If Cash is willing to let Hideki go, it might mean they know more about his physical condition than we do.

    Knowing what I know, I’d rather he was the DH next year, but for 1yr contract only. But I’m willing to admit Cash knows more than I. Of course, if the Yankees end up with the rotating DH horseshit, then I’ll be ticked….

  39. E-ROC says:

    I wonder how much playing in the outfield next season means to Hideki Matsui.

  40. charlespoet says:

    Prediction, Damon will reject any offer from the Yankees unless the Yankees will over pay.

    Matsui will not sign with the Angles, but will re-sign with the Yankees. I don’t believe playing LF is that critical at this point in his career. The pain of bad knees has to be a bigger issue.

  41. steve s says:

    Th obvious response is to sign Vlad. He’s younger, and slightly less crippled and, all of a sudden, very homeless and available! The Yanks were becoming a little too lefty anyway especially if Damon comes back.

  42. theyankeewarrior says:

    Yeah, I can’t imagine the Yankees wouldn’t at least offer Matsui 6.5 to come back for one year. If he approaches his ’09 line, it would be like shaving 6.6 million off the books while retaining your #5 hitter and making your offense deeper. At worst, he’s a guy who is hobbled, but can get a HUGE hit or HITS in a big game/spot that doesn’t cost you a ton in money or years.

    Say he gets hurt and missed 3 months. He can still rest up for October and win us games all by himself. The dude produces in the clutch like 2005-style PED-abusing Big Papi.

  43. Will says:

    Joel Sherman also said the Yankees looked into Cliff Lee.

    • Steve H says:

      The Yankees, according to the media, look into everyone. And they probably do, but how concrete is it? I’m sure if Lee is available, they had thoughts on it, and it ended there.

  44. [...] other news….Godzilla Matsui is close to signing with the Los Angeles Angels. Did anyone really expect him back in the [...]

  45. Zack says:

    So the greatest manager ever is going to try to put his new DH/”LF” on the DL before the end of spring training?

  46. A.D. says:

    He also mentions that The Halos will give Matsui a chance to play the outfield. Good luck with that.

    That’s something Matsui wants? Yikes if I had my knees drained as much as Sui I’d take DH thank you very much.

  47. Bronx Cheer says:

    IMO, this makes Cameron now the clear no. 1 FA target. Matsui was attractive because of his ability to hit lefties and relatively low contractual requirements. With him gone and Damon’s/Boras’ crazy talk, I would start focusing on adding Cameron if I were Cashman.

    • Mike bk says:

      8 mil for Matsui will get it done. 8 mil for Cameron will get it done and then you can trade melk or gardner for a prospect or 2.

  48. Matty Ice says:

    I’m sure Matsui will get his “chance” to play the field in LA….he’ll start one game in LF, then play the rest of the season as a DH.

  49. Ansky says:

    This is BS…Matusi isnt going to sign with the Angels. This is just another ploy by the Yankees to get the Angels to show their hand and start a bidding war. This is why the Yankees are bad for baseball!

    /Halos Heaven’d

  50. Lanny says:

    Anaheim is getting a professional bat and they need the power. Not going to be easy to replace him.

  51. Drew says:

    This is a bummer to me.
    I really don’t feel like dealing with the Damon bullshit. I know it’s a business but at some point you have to say enough is enough.

    Let Boras do his job and get JD 3 yrs in a baseball oblivion. I hope we jump in and snag Matsui for 7-8 mil but it’s not looking likely.

  52. ultimate913 says:

    I come back from school and I find out: We lose our DH/WS MVP to the Angels, Lackey joins the division, Angels lose their ace, Halladay goes to Philly(while probably signing an extension with them) and Lee goes to the M’s.

    We lose leverage on Damon so forget him. He wants a 2 year deal or more at 10 M+? Go play for the Giants where you are expected to produce more than you can at your age. Mets are SERIOUSLY screwed. Angels are SERIOUSLY screwed.

    By the way, what was Lackey’s WAR? If it’s not more than 8(which I know it isn’t) than the Red Sox are still behind us. We just need to think of some creative solutions for DH. I wasn’t even thinking about him before but I am seriously considering Vlad for DH. Also. Is it me or are the Red Sox starting to look like the Braves of the AL east? All pitch, no bat.

  53. KK says: is saying that the deal is official already. Cashman really dragged his feet on this one – I don’t get why he didn’t want Matsui back. For all he says about giving players rest days, they have nobody who is even a sliver of talent to back up the starters, so the lineup would take a massive hit. If it’s about Matsui’s supposed health problems, I still think he runs the bases better than Posada – he hits better, as well, so unless Posada is playing catcher, he really should just be riding pine.

    Sign Cameron and move him to left, and don’t bother with Damon anymore, since he obviously is out of his mind with the offers Boras is proposing. Cameron hits as well as Damon, statistically, and is better in the field.

    Seems like Cash is trying to axe all the Asian players off the team; I know he says it’s business, but both Wang and Matsui seemed like relatively affordable, high upside signings (and yes, I mean that I think Wang was worth the 4 million he should have been tendered as – Kei Igawa makes that much anyways).

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