The Athletics are on the verge of signing Hideki Matsui

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UPDATE: Susan Slusser reports that Matsui is going to make just less than $5 million for next season (Update: Olney says it’s $4.25 million). But hey, the A’s are going to pony up for his translator and his PR person. Which, given the horde of Japanese media that follows Matsui around, is definitely a full-time gig.

Good deal for the A’s.  I worry that the Coliseum will absolutely kill Matsui, but he’s a fun guy to have in baseball, so I’m glad he has a job for next season.

Monday, 6:10 PMSusan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics are on the verge of signing Hideki Matsui to a one-year deal. An agreement may be announced today, with a Tuesday press conference in the offing.

Which makes a ton of sense for everyone. Matsui wants to be on the west coast. The A’s need a DH, and would prefer to go year-to-year, which is all that Matsui can expect these days. He started slow last year but ended up being pretty much his old Matsui-self with the Angels, hitting .274/.361/.459 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs.  I’d expect age and the move to a rough hitter’s park to depress those numbers a bit, but Matsui isn’t going to get a ton of money from Oakland. Even at last year’s $6 million salary, Godzilla will likely earn his keep.

UPDATE: According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Matsui is scheduled to undergo a physical tomorrow morning. Assuming everything goes well, the A’s will hold an introductory press conference tomorrow afternoon.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.