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.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.