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Matsui, Angels agree on 1-year deal

Dec 14, 2009, 7:46 PM EDT

Craig noted earlier that the Angels were in “serious discussions” with World Series MVP Hideki Matsui.

It turns out that the serious discussions will result in a serious relationship, as the New York Times reports that the sides have agreed on a one-year deal that will be announced as soon as Matsui passes his physical.

Matsui decided to take the Angels’ offer rather than wait and see if the Yankees would bring him back. It was probably a wise move by Matsui, because while the Yankees never closed the door to his return, they have been very wary of making a commitment. Matsui will receive $6.5 million from the Angels, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

This isn’t going to bother the Yankees at all. They clearly prefer Johnny Damon to Matsui, and with Curtis Granderson added to the mix that already included Nick Swisher, Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner (if he isn’t traded), and probably Damon, Matsui was smart enough to see the writing on the wall.

As for the Angels, it looks like they’ve found an OF/DH replacement for Vladimir Guerrero. Matsui is no spring chicken – he’s actually about eight months older than Guerrero. But he did manage 28 home runs last year, and with Guerrero seemingly aging faster than the Thanksgiving leftovers still sitting in my fridge, they must like Matsui’s upside better in a short-term deal.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

  1. mike - Dec 14, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    for the love of accuracy, it’s brett gardner, not brent. haha, not trying to be rude, if i weren’t a yankees fan i wouldn’t know that.

  2. Bob Harkins - Dec 14, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Curse the typos! Thanks, fixed.

  3. Ed - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:00 PM

    Money talks, and it seems the Yanks don`t want an old guy.

  4. JDLSK - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    How can the Yankees not have offered Matsui more than $6.5 million for one year?!? Much rather have a more consistent Matsui than a hot-and-cold Damon.

  5. Ed - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Is part of the Yankee’s payroll hidden in an amendment to a Federal spending bill?

  6. bossman4 - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    They should have TRADED Nick Swisher…. BA Post .133 to .615 Matsui… Just after the WS last game they said they would be trading Matsui, so no surprise…

  7. Beanster - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:50 PM

    I don’t think this was a money issue – Matsui will full-time DH for the Angels and that clearly was not going to be the case in NY with their older players rotating as DH. Classy guy going to a classy organization.

  8. SALLYBABY - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:50 PM

    come on yankees keep godzilla one more year..

  9. jay - Dec 14, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    please show me anywhere it says brent

  10. JoeD - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    Matsui has bad knees and can’t play outfield anymore, so there is a risk that he may not make it through a season. Damon is a much better player, can play outfield if needed, is a tremendous base runner and can still steal a fair share of bases, and he hits to all areas of the field.

  11. BigHarold - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    Perhaps more like the Yankees can’t afford two old guys.
    It’s either Damon or Matsui and of the two Damon can still play the field. Matsui, and I greatly appreciate his time with the Yankees, can not play the field so he was clearly the lesser of the two options.
    Hail and Farewell Hideki Matsui!! A consummate professional that comported himself in the best traditions of the NY Yankees.

  12. Ron - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:09 PM

    Dump Swisher?he’s the real captain of the team in the locker room. Zilla is a broken down piece of meat, that can hit…

  13. John LaBada - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Now fix your opening sentence so a reader knows who in the world CRAIG is

  14. John LaBada - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    In his dark mind

  15. John LaBada - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:15 PM

    They’re all going to miss his world-class porn collection, too. (http://digg.com/baseball/Hideki_Matsui_has_a_porn_collection_of_55_000_items_Dude)
    it’s on the internet so you KNOW it’s true!

  16. James - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:44 PM

    Good for Godzilla. No way the yanks were bringing him back. Though I think retirement would be better

  17. AJ Gallo - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:45 PM

    Matsui had a terrific career with the Yanks for which he was extremely well compensated. It’s time to move on from him. The Yanks were fortunate that they experienced the kind of offense they had from the rest of the lineup last season, so there were rarely any problems putting a lineup together. It isn’t reasonable to expect that to happen that way again. After all, didn’t the Yankees set some kind of record for having the most guys on the team hitting 20 or more home runs in a season? You can’t expect that to happen again. So when the Yanks go into their normal slump or two next year, having Matsui there would severely hamper the Yanks’ lineup options. He can’t field anymore. He can only DH. Johnny Damon can DH and spell Melky in left field every now and then. He gives you more options that you don’t have with Hidecki. Thank you Hidecki for everything you’ve done, but it is time to move on.

  18. JB - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:48 PM

    Damon still throws like a girl too.

  19. GimmeSomeSteel - Dec 14, 2009 at 11:55 PM

    Matsui is a free agent, no trade involved.

  20. sar515 - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:43 AM

    Anyone who takes shots at the departing Matsui is not a baseball fan.
    CLASS and CLUTCH.
    He was a terrific player for the Yankees…even better than the hyped HR hitter that came here.
    Never caused a problem…and I believe he was beloved by his teammates.
    He was one of my favorites and he will be missed.

  21. The Evil Empire - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:51 AM

    The Curtis Granderson signing paved the way for Matsui to be shown the door. We’ll see more of moves like this in the next few years, Yankees need to get “younger” and more athletic… Brian Cashman has acknowledged that fact…
    Getting Lacky would’ve been a major coup for the Bombers, jury still out on Jaba Chamberlain as a starter, may be better off grooming him to be Mariano’s replacement, similar to the way Mariano was John Wetteland’s set up man for a couple of years…

  22. Gabe - Dec 15, 2009 at 3:11 AM

    Jay, if you look at comment 2, you’ll see that it had been corrected. Know the facts before you open your mouth. People like you are what’s wrong with America today. Moron.

  23. Smoknwoody - Dec 15, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    Matman applauded the trade to the West Coast based on the mere fact he’ll be closer to the Pacific Rim & the Sushi will be fresher, along with the Tasty Cali Cougars. He is a Swordsman of Reknown…

  24. Don Dufault - Dec 15, 2009 at 4:42 AM

    Sayonara to a classy guy. Mr. Clutch.

  25. William Kazak - Dec 15, 2009 at 5:29 AM

    As a casuual observer, Matsui is the kind of ball player that I admire and I would want him on my team.

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