Matsui close with Angels
Joe Girardi knew what he was talking about the day of the parade down Broadway, as he stood outside City Hall and mentioned that this is probably the last time the ’09 Yankees would be together as a group.
Another piece of the championship puzzle fell off yesterday, as Hideki Matsui reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Angels. The Yankees didn’t make Matsui a priority this offseason, despite his World Series MVP status, and it appears their concern is more in seeing if Johnny Damon will return for something in the neighborhood of two years and $20 million.
It wasn’t that the Yankees didn’t appreciate Matsui’s contributions since ’03 – in many ways, he was the perfect Yankee, solid and understated. But his chronic knee injuries made him a defensive liability and Girardi could never trust him to play the field, which limits what the Yankees can do in terms of flexibility.
Yes, the Yankees still need a DH. But Cashman’s public stance has been that it isn’t that difficult to find a hitter. If the worst case scenario happens, Cashman said they could go in with Juan Miranda as the DH and see him do a decent job against right-handed pitching.
That sounds a lot like those 2005 claims that Bubba Crosby would be the Opening Day centerfielder, only to see Damon sign a $52 million deal. More likely, the Yankees will bring in one more addition to thump a few baseballs.
“You can turn left,
you can turn right, you can look up and down and you’ve got a DH
begging for a job,” Cashman said last week. “The DH market, you’ve got
opportunity there. You should be able to take advantage of that if
you’re a club.”