DH said to be physical away from one-year, $6.5 million pact
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
12/14/09 8:01 PM EST
The Angels reached an agreement with designated hitter Hideki Matsui on a one-year, $6.5 million deal pending a physical, according to reports on Monday by the New York Times and ESPN.com.
With Matsui in the fold, free agent Vladimir Guerrero's Angels career would likely be over.
When asked about the report on Monday, the Angels told MLB.com they had nothing to announce. Multiple reports, however, say the official announcement will have to wait until after Matsui passes a physical.
After playing in just 93 games in 2008, Matsui bounced back with the Yankees last season with a .274 batting average, 28 home runs and 90 RBIs, while also posting a .367 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging mark.
He was also named World Series MVP after batting .615 with three home runs and eight RBIs to help the Yankees take the Fall Classic in six games over the Phillies.
The 35-year-old is a .292 hitter with 140 home runs and 597 RBIs over seven Major League seasons with the Yankees.
Guerrero spent six seasons with the Angels, hitting a combined .319 with 173 home runs and 616 RBIs in 846 games. The right-handed-hitting slugger also won the 2004 American League MVP Award and was a four-time All-Star while with the team.
Guerrero is reportedly looking for a two-year deal and the chance to play right field, while the Angels were looking for a designated hitter on a one-year contract.
The news of Matsui's impending arrival comes on the same day that multiple reports surfaced that former Angels ace John Lackey agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the rival Red Sox. In addition, a reported blockbuster trade will send Cliff Lee to the division-rival Mariners and Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to the Phillies.
Now the Angels could be front-runners to trade for Braves right-hander Derek Lowe. A FOXSports.com report speculated that the Angels could trade left fielder Juan Rivera for the 36-year-old Lowe, who still has three years and $45 million left on the contract he signed last offseason.
Meanwhile, right-hander Kelvim Escobar, who made just one start in the past two seasons because of multiple shoulder problems, was offered a Minor League contract by the Mets, according to Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional.