Well, it looks like DH Jack Cust didn’t have to wait long to be picked up on a $2.5 million one year contract with the Seattle Mariners, which could increase on plate appearances to over $2.6 million. His .271 average, 13 home runs and 52 RBIs in the 2010 season apparently struck a cord with The Mariners. Cust could not be more pleased with the deal. He told the the Seattle Times, “From what it sounds like, I’m going to be in there both way (versus lefties and righties) and that’s the way I like it,” he said. “I’ve always been able to hit lefties pretty well.”
Now, your probably wondering where this leaves the A’s. The answer is that it leaves them in a better position to pick up 36 year old Hidecki Matsui, who was actively being pursued by the Mariners. Hidecki is considered to be a top contender amongst designated hitters that A’s managment will want to talk to, and at the MLB Winter Meetings, held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Billy Beane was able to get one step closer to doing just that.
Beane was able to meet up with Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellum to express team interest, Tellum refused to devulge any information on his client, however the discussion was primarily focused on what Matsui is looking for in a team regarding terms and salary. The A’s have said his terms and the teams seem to be a good match, however, there are sources that say the team is looking at all options and will not rush to any decisions at this time.
Matsui has expressed interest in staying on the West Coast and his desire to possibly strike a deal with the A’s with a 2 year contract. This past season he was able to bat a .274/ with 21 homers and 84 RBI with The Angels. One reason Matsui will be a great player to have on the A’s is his incredible fanbase. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Matsui is very popular in Japan and in local Asian communites, because all of his games are televised there, bringing him higher visibility and possibly adding some much needed corporate sponsorship to the the A’s ballclub. The Team could also benefit from this World Series champion chip ring holder, through his experience and mentorship to the younger players on the team.
A’s owner Lew Wolff also chimed in at the possibility of signing Matsui in an email that “I believe a Japanese super player would add value beyond his on-field skills, especially in the Bay Area and especially in a modern and exciting venue.” Matsui will be a great asset for any team to sign due to his all around knowledge and love of the game.
Stadium update: MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has not made a concrete decision on the stadium committee plan and it seems at this point a decision on the matter wont be made anytime soon, which leave the plans for the Victory Park location in Oakland still open to possibility.