The Athletics have had some trouble attracting free agents to their cause, but that may be about to change.
According to an MLBTradeRumors.com report, the A’s are closing in on a deal with outfielder/designated hitter Hideki Matsui.
Best known for his days with the Yankees, Matsui hit .274 with 21 homeruns, 84 RBI and a .369 on-base percentage in 482 at-bats with the Angels last season. He played 18 games in the outfield, but spent the majority of his time serving as the team’s DH.
The A’s have attempted to upgrade their offense twice already this offseason, but were spurned by Adrian Beltre, who rejected numerous offers, and Lance Berkman, who elected to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals. Oakland added outfielder David DeJesus in a trade with the Royals earlier this offseason, but still lack any prominent power bats.
Matsui would likely bat fourth or fifth in the A’s lineup, which figures to be anchored by Kurt Suzuki.
Acquiring Matsui would seem to suggest that Oakland plans to contend next season, as his presence would likely limit the playing time of top power-hitting prospect Chris Carter.