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A’s “going younger” could mean passing on Hideki Matsui

Nov 1, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

Hideki Matsui Reuters

MLB announcing Oakland versus Seattle as the season-opening series in Japan next year led to speculation that the A’s were committed to re-signing Japanese outfielder Hideki Matsui, but it turns out that may not be the case.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the A’s are intent on “going younger” and could pass on re-signing Matsui even if he’s willing to take a pay cut from this season’s $4.25 million salary.

Matsui is 37 years old and coming off the worst season of his career, hitting just .251 with 12 homers and a .696 OPS in 141 games. He came into the year as a career .290 hitter with an .848 OPS.

Slusser reports that Matsui’s agent will meet next week with Billy Beane, but the general manager has hinted that the A’s may spend even less than usual on free agents this winter because they’re waiting to hear back from MLB about a possible new ballpark in San Jose.

  1. phukyouk - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    for the right price i would welcome him back

    • okobojicat - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      From the A’s perspective, I don’t think their is a right price. They have a gaggle of OF/DH/1B types at AAA who they want to see major league pitching. Its not the cost that is prohibitive, its the taking away of at bats and OF defensive innings

    • presidentmiraflores - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      I would too, py, but I don’t know what he would do. Be another backup DH?

  2. APBA Guy - Nov 1, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Wolff and Beane have been saying consistently late in the season that their “strategy” for the offseason is dependent on MLB’s stadium decision.

    Another way to read that is that they intend going all-in on the Marlins approach of bad baseball, let’s collect the revenue sharing money and to hell with winning, the fans, etc..That’s working for Loria, eventually he got a new stadium out of it.

    Beane could try to win with a payroll in the Rays range, but that’s a lot of work. So much easier to talk about the EPL and Tottenham and Wenger worship.

    As far as Matsui is concerned, the comments above are exactly right. There are at least 3 guys at AAA who project as DH’s, might as well give each of them 200 AB’s and let’s see if anyone gets lucky. Because truly, Matsui has passed the point of no return, and his 2011 salary would cover 9 MLB minimum rookies.

  3. dirtyharry1971 - Nov 1, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Watch now the A’s will go out and sign someone like Vlad who is also clearly on the downside of his career and then brag about how they upgraded their terrible offense

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