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.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa part ways

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The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.

La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.

I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.