Tag:Hideki Matsui
Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:45 pm

Mariners may want Matsui or Cust as DH

The Mariners are exploring making Hideki Matsui or Jack Cust their DH, as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.

Seattle has been rather quiet so far this offseason despite a need to seriously upgrade their offense. Matsui would do that, while Cust isn't the slugger he once was although he could bounce back.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:20 pm

A's and Iwakuma unlikely; Cubs want Pena

Pena News and notes from around the Winter Meetings, courtesy of CBSSports.com's Scott Miller...
  • Miller spoke to A's GM Billy Beane, who says the club has not spoken to pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma in the last 24 hours. The deadline is midnight, so it looks like Iwakuma will have to wait another year to come stateside.
  • Beane also said the club wants to sign someone from a group of DHs on the market. Hideki Matsui is a possibility, and Matsui has indicated he would like to play for Oakland.
  • While the Cubs were indeed talking about Adrian Gonzalez with the Padres, nothing was ever close. The White Sox and Mariners, however, were "in hard" but Boston won out -- obviously.
  • Lastly, the Cubs need a first baseman and some pitching. A source tells Miller it could be either a starter or reliever. Carlos Pena (pictured) would be an ideal solution at first, but his price tag may be too high courtesy of agent Scott Boras, so will adopt a wait and see stance.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 4:44 pm

Japanese dream team in Seattle?

Hideki Matsui As if the Mariners weren't already Japan's favorite team, they may become even more popular -- the team is interested in adding Hideki Matsui, FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi writes .

Ichiro Suzuki is the best Japanese player to play in the United States, but Matsui is still the most popular MLB player in Japan. The two together would really help the Mariners' ratings in Japan, and also at the gate in Seattle.

Morosi quotes "a person close to Ichiro" saying "[Ichiro] thinks [Matsui] would help as a DH threat."

Matsui hit .274/.361/.459 with 21 home runs in Anaheim last season and made $6 million.

It's unlikely the Mariners can afford that much money in a designated hitter.

Because of his past knee surgeries, Matsui is best-suited for the American League, and it's believed he would prefer to avoid artificial turf, which could rule out Tampa Bay and Toronto, two possible destinations. The A's have also been mentioned as a possibility.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2010 8:06 pm

Brewers offer Hoffman arbitration

Hoffman The Milwaukee Brewers offered Trevor Hoffman arbitration, but Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hoffman has agreed to decline arbitration.

Hoffman is a Type B free agent, so Milwaukee will net a compensatory pick if he signs elsewhere. The career leader in saves has indicated he will only play in 2011 if he is the closer, which he be in Milwaukee if he chose to return.

In other arbitration news:
  • Cliff Lee has unsurprisingly been offered arbitration along with fellow Type-A free agent Frank Francisco, which could chill Francisco's market. Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina both saw their market increase with no offers of arbitration as MLB.com reports.
  • The Orioles have declined to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, who may be among the most coveted relievers since he is extremely productive, is stingy with walks and will come on a one-year pact most likely. It's unlikely that Kevin Millwood is offered arbitration as the Baltimore Sun outlines, and if the Sun is to be believed, Millwood won't have a problem finding a job. The Rockies and Royals appear to be the farthest along in contract discussions.
  • Derrek Lee won't be back in Atlanta as the club will not offer arbitration to the Type-A free agent. Offering arbitration would have near guaranteed Lee's return, and the first-base job belongs to Freddie Freeman as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.
  • The Diamondbacks will offer arbitration to Aaron Heilman and Adam LaRoche (both Type B free agents). It is possible LaRoche could accept and return as first baseman.
  • The Rays cut ties with Dan Wheeler (Type A) and Carlos Pena (Type B) as the St. Petersburg Times says, but did tender offers to Type A's in Carl Crawford, Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano. They also offered to Type B's in Joaquin Benoit, Randy Choate, Brad Hawpe and Chad Qualls. Some of these Type B offers certainly have gentleman's agreements to decline, while Benoit is a Tiger and is already assured of giving Tampa a draft pick.
  • The Angels have announced DH Hideki Matsui won't be offered arbitration. The A's are thought to be contenders for Matsui's services.
  • The Denver Post has arbitration offers from Colorado out to Jorge de la Rosa (Type A) and Octavio Dotel (Type B).

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 17, 2010 8:59 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 5:47 am

Wednesday evening rumor roundup

Hot Stove Wednesday wasn't quite as exciting as Tuesday's rumor-mongering at the GM meetings, but hey, we did get a trade and an overpaid free agent signing, so it wasn't all that different. Here's some of the other stuff that went down -- or has been talked about -- 'round Orlando and beyond.

• The Rockies are interested in Jon Garland, but aren't looking to offer much beyond a one-year deal. (Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman via Twitter )

• The Nationals are one of "six or eight" teams to have talked with Twins free agent starter Carl Pavano. (Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post )

• The Brewers hope to extend second baseman Rickie Weeks, who will be a free agent following the 2011 season. (Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel )

• Jorge de la Rosa will move quickly on signing, preferably signing before the Cliff Lee sweepstakes is wrapped up. He'll jump on an offer from the Nationals or Pirates if the terms are right. (Troy Renck of the Denver Post )

• The Rockies have been aggressive in Orlando with trades and free agents. The team has interest in Oakland third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. (Renck via Twitter)

• Miguel Olivo is drawing interest from the Rangers, White Sox and Blue Jays. (FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi )

• The White Sox are interested in Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon to fill their need of a left-handed hitter, but aren't expected to make a move until after the Dec. 2 non-tender date. (Chicago Tribune 's Phil Rogers )

• The Phillies have done "extensive" groundwork on a deal for the White Sox's Carlos Quentin, who would replace Jayson Werth. (ESPN.com's Jayson Stark )

• Oakland, Toronto and Colorado have interest in Kansas City's Alex Gordon. (MLB.com's Dick Kaegel )

• Tsuyoshi Nishioka was officially posted on Wednesday (U.S. time), so the bidding will close at 5 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. The Giants, Twins, Cardinals, Orioles, Mariners, Padres, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Red Sox have all been mentioned by Japanese media as teams with interest. (YakyuBaka.com )

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 16, 2010 11:38 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:24 am

What's the market for Manny?

Hot Stove There's a 12-time All-Star on the market, a career .313 hitter with 555 home runs. And yet when people talk about the big names in this winter's free-agent crop, Manny Ramirez's name doesn't even come up.

As Bill Shaikin discusses in the Los Angeles Times, Ramirez, 38, has gone from front-line star to afterthought after a 2009 drug suspension and a 2010 season that saw him limited to 90 games thanks to three trips to the disabled list. He was claimed off waivers by the White Sox in August and played 24 games for Chicago, batting .261 with one homer and two RBI.

Now the guy who two years ago was worth a two-year, $45 million deal finds himself wondering where there's a market for him.

Manny Ramirez
"It's just like Vlad Guerrero," Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, told the Times. "His last Angels season, where he had an injury season and he had 50 RBIs, was not a customary Vlad Guerrero season. He went to Texas and reestablished himself.

"This is really the course for great veteran hitters. We've seen, following an injury season, a player goes out and performs at optimum levels, because these players are still uniquely skilled. They're still great hitters."

It appears Ramirez is done as an outfielder, at least on any regular basis. There are 14 DH spots available, and many of the prominent ones are filled. Guerrero is a free agent again, as are Jim Thome, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. The Times figures the market for Ramirez could be down to the Tigers, Rays, Blue Jays and maybe the Orioles. And Ramirez will probably have to accept a one-year deal with incentives and prove he's still an impact player.

Boras is hopeful, and armed with his usual supply of Boras-speak.

"I think Manny Ramirez is a Hall of Fame hitter," he said. "Teams look at that ability and, if they adjudicate that ability is still intact, they're going to be seeking those extraordinary talents before they proceed elsewhere."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:45 pm

Matsui open to playing for A's

Hideki Matsui One thing the Athletics need to do in the offseason is add offense.

To that effect, the San Francisco Chronicle caught up with Angels DH Hideki Matsui, who said he would be open to playing for Oakland -- but that that's true for every team.

The Los Angeles Times recently put Matsui's return to L.A. between three to five percent, the Chronicle reports, which spurred thoughts of Matsui's future. What Oakland has going for it is a young, up-and-coming team with burgeoning young pitching -- and especially important to Matsui, a "decent-sized Asian community."

Matsui's season hasn't quite gone as planned for the 36-year-old thanks to a debilitating May slump but aside from that has shown he's still got the goods a year after winning the World Series MVP award. The lefty has a .272/.361/.454 line with 20 home runs in 543 plate appearances -- numbers virtually identical to 2009's season.

But how about the ballpark, kind to pitchers but death to hitters with its wide-open outfield and never-ending foul ground?

"You could say it's definitely a big ballpark. There's a huge amount of foul ground," Matsui said. "But I've always had a positive experience there. I've hit pretty well there."

Matsui has 136 career PA in the Coliseum, hitting .294/.353/.462, in line with his career averages.

However, with a plethora of outfielders in the fold and the need to work Chris Carter in, and Oakland may very well choose to keep a DH spot open and put the outfield in a rotation, upgrading the offense at other positions.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:09 pm

Matsui may not return to Angels

Hideki Matsui Hideki Matsui was one of the hottest hitters in the game in the early going, but struggled in the summer months that spiraled his average down to .243 on August 16.

However, a .362/.479/.603 line in 71 plate appearances since has pushed him to a season mark of .266/.352/.442 with 18 home runs.

"No doubt Hideki is feeling much more comfortable in the batter's box," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com . "He started off the season very strong for us. He went through a long stretch where he was just trying to find his timing and wasn't squaring balls up. He's gotten it back, and I'm sure he's going to finish strong for us."

No, Matsui's total line isn't as good as he once racked up playing for the Yankees, but the 36-year-old can still swing a stick.

He just might not be doing it for the Angels in 2011.

The Angels simply may have no room for Matsui due to a roster crunch. Torii Hunter is going nowhere and has made right field his new home while Peter Bourjos plies his trade in center. Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera are currently sharing time in left along with Matsui, although Matsui has mostly been the DH. However, next season, it is widely felt Abreu will become the full-time DH.

In fact, Abreu started at DH on Wednesday in lieu of Matsui simply because Scioscia wanted to get a look at the veteran in that role.

"As a player gets older, and if a player can handle that type of role, that's definitely a possibility," general manager Tony Reagins said of Abreu switching to DH.

That's not the only move the Angels may make. They are widely considered to be in the hunt for Carl Crawford to join their team and provide an exciting dynamic. You can't rule L.A. out for Jayson Werth either, as the team seeks to upgrade its offensive output.

That freezes Matsui out of a job when the Japanese import is largely limited to DH due to his knees.

"This year it's been really good," Matsui said of his knees, which have enabled him to make 21 starts in left field on the year. "Compared to last year, it's much better. Last year, even though I didn't go on to the DL, there were times when I sort of had some ups and downs."

So sure, Matsui may be able to handle the occasional game in the outfield. For all intents and purposes, however, he's a DH. Factor in Abreu and Matsui's impending free agency after signing a one-year, $6 million deal and things don't look optimistic for his return to L.A.

"As of right now, I'm not really thinking about anything beyond this season," Matsui said. "It would be nice, in general, if you were asked to stay with the team you're with." 

The Angels have stumbled to a disappointing year with a 67-73 record, 10 games behind the Rangers. However, that's not entirely the fault of Matsui's down year.

"I don't think we're in this position because of anything Hideki has done or hasn't done," Scioscia said. "We are in this position because we've had too many guys that for long stretches were really under performing and that really haven't gotten back to that level. But Hideki's one of those guys that has."

One thing's for sure, though: Matsui has no plans of returning to Japan. Instead, he'll shop around and try to find a team to DH for.

Just don't bet on it being the Angels unless things go wrong in free agency for the Halos.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com