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 PM: Susan 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.
In a column published on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Padres are “aggressively shopping” third baseman Yangervis Solarte. The 29-year-old is entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $2.7 million next season.
This past season, Solarte hit a solid .286/.341/.467 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI in 443 plate appearances. It’s quite impressive factoring in that he plays in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
Given that Solarte is team-controlled for three more years and he offers lots of versatility with previous experience playing first and second base as well as corner outfield, the Padres should receive a fair amount of interest.
Update (6:52 PM EST): The deal is expected to be one year for $13 million, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms the report.
The Yankees are close to signing veteran free agent Matt Holliday, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reports.
Holliday, who turns 37 years old next month, was limited to 110 games in 2016 with the Cardinals due to a fractured left thumb suffered in the second half. He finished the season hitting .246/.322/.461 with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 426 plate appearances.
Holliday is likely looking at spending the majority of his time in the DH role. Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann handled the DH role for a majority of the time last season but all three have moved on — Rodriguez was released in the second half, Beltran just signed with the Astros, and McCann was traded to the Astros last month.