Hiedki Matsui isn’t having a fabulous year, but it hasn’t been terrible either: .272/.361/.454 with 20 homers. He’ll likely want to play again in 2011, and I’m guessing some teams may be willing to give him a look.
One team he talked about yesterday was the Athletics, who he tells Susan Slusser, might be a good fit for him:
said he likes the Bay Area and he noted that it has a “decent-sized
Asian community.” He also said that the vast Coliseum wouldn’t be any
deterrent as far as he is concerned.
“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.”
And, as Slusser points out, he has. He doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense in Oakland, however, unless he’s willing to take a pretty sizable pay cut. After all, the A’s DH this year is Jack Cust. His production has been fairly similar to Matsui’s — higher OBP, less power — and he’s done it for close to $4 million less than Matsui made.
Given that Oakland let Cust basically walk last winter only to sign him, send him to Sacramento and then bring him back to the big club, it’s not like there are a ton of bidders for his services. They can probably pay him around the same in 2011 that they paid him this year, and stick with the devil they know rather than take a chance on one they don’t know. And if they truly want to improve an offense that really needs improving, they need to better than either Cust or Matsui.
Either way, I hope there is furious bidding for Matsui this winter. Because I really want to see my friend again.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.