A’s manager Bob Melvin wants Hideki Matsui back in 2012

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Hideki Matsui has recovered from a miserable first half to hit .400 with five homers and seven doubles in 27 games since the All-Star break, playing so well that manager Bob Melvin told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d like the A’s to re-sign the 37-year-old.

That is, if Melvin is back in 2012.

Matsui has reportedly cleared waivers, making him eligible to be traded, and the A’s would presumably be thrilled to cash him in for any kind of decent prospect between now and August 31.

Matsui has about $1 million left on a one-year, $4.25 million deal and even the excellent second-half has him hitting just .260 with 11 homers and a .750 OPS in 103 games overall.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.