Since taking over as the A’s manager in the middle of the season Bob Melvin has said repeatedly that he’d like the team to re-sign Hideki Matsui, but he sounds highly unlikely to get his wish.
Melvin reiterated his desire for Matsui to return while speaking to reporters yesterday at the winter meetings, but general manager Billy Beane downplayed the odds of it happening and indicated that the A’s will turn to younger players in the designated hitter role.
Beane mentioned Chris Carter, Brandon Allen, and Kila Ka’aihue, each of whom have some flaws and each of whom are very capable of topping Matsui’s production at a fraction of the cost.
Matsui plans to play somewhere in 2012 at age 38, but hit just .251 with 12 homers and a career-low .696 OPS in 141 games for the A’s while being paid $4.25 million.
Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres will be promoted to the majors this weekend, per a report from Jack Curry of the YES Network. Torres was expected to make his debut earlier in the season, but his starting date was pushed back after he suffered a bout of back tightness last Monday. Now, however, it looks like he’s finally healthy enough to make an impact on a team that’s in sore need of an offensive boost. As of Saturday evening, the team has yet to officially confirm the move.
The 21-year-old infielder has made quite the impression in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this spring, slashing .370/.415/.543 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI in his first 53 plate appearances. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, he was ranked first overall in the Yankees’ system and fifth among the league’s best prospects (via MLB Pipeline). His numbers at the plate have been made all the more impressive by the fact that he’s only 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing arm; neither the injury nor the lengthy recovery process seems to have had any detrimental effect on his game play this year.
While Torres appears most comfortable as a shortstop, he’s not expected to supplant Didi Gregorius in a starting role. Instead, it’s more likely that he’ll sub in at second and third base among the likes of Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker and Ronald Torreyes.