Of course the Yankees are going to re-sign Hideki Matsui: he pays for himself

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Via MLB Trade Rumors comes a Tweet from NPB Tracker in which it is claimed that Hideki Matsui’s mere presence on the New York Yankees accounts for “at least” $15 million in annual revenue.  NPB bases this assertion on a report that’s written in Japanese, so it’s hard to say where this figure comes from, but we can spitball it a little, can’t we?

One obvious source of income that would presumably dry up if Matsui leaves are those Japanese language billboards that appear on the Yankee Stadium outfield wall and behind home plate and stuff during games.  I’m not privy to how much revenue those bring, but I do know that the Cubs recently entered into a a five-year, $10.8 million deal with Under Armour to have its logo displayed on the outfield doors at Wrigley Field.

That led to some litigation which at least suggested that the deal wasn’t worth the money to Under Armour (UA wanted out from under the deal, the Cubs sued to keep it in place), so a ~$2 million a year value for that may be high as these things go. At least in Chicago and at least when it doesn’t involve the Japanese market.  Let’s say that the Yankee Stadium ads are worth half again as much as the UA ads are. $3-4 million? I could totally see that.

After that, figure in a few million for Matsui and Yankee merch in Japan.  Then figure in the fact that a bunch more eyes are watching Yankee broadcasts in Japan as well.  Once you start adding these things up, it’s not hard to envision a situation in which, even if Matsui’s contract isn’t totally paid for, it’s heavily subsidized by revenue specific to his presence on the roster.

In the ordinary course it makes little sense to sign a 35 year-old guy who can only DH to a multi-year deal in excess of eight figures annually.  In light of the Matsui-related revenue, however, I’d be shocked if the Yankees didn’t sign the guy.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.