After whiffing on top targets, A’s shift focus to Hideki Matsui

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Oakland left the winter meetings empty handed despite several attempts to make a big splash, which has Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle thinking that the A’s will turn their attention to signing Hideki Matsui.

Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem, told Slusser that he expects to begin fielding offers over the weekend and indicated that Matsui might be ready to sign as soon as early next week.

Whether or not it’ll be with Oakland is unclear, but Matsui has expressed an interest in remaining on the West Coast following a one-year stint with the Angels and the A’s have been linked to him since missing out on their No. 1 designated hitter target, Lance Berkman.

Matsui signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Angels last winter and hit .274/.361/.459 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs in 145 games as their primary DH.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.