Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hot Stove Review: Hideki Matsui

Thanks to the suggestions of Twitter followers Schlik1, heybarto, and DaddySir4, Off the Monster is introducing a new offseason segment: the Hot Stove Review. Today, the Review will focus on the reigning World Series MVP, Hideki Matsui.

According to this article from the New York Times, Matsui will be able to play some outfield next year, if the surgery he underwent last winter is repeated successfully. However, this outfield time would be limited to "2 to 3 games a week," and that's where it gets interesting. Matsui is not a good defensive outfielder, mostly due to poor range, but Fenway doesn't exactly have an expansive left field to cover: if he could learn to play the wall, Matsui might very well be an acceptable fourth outfielder should Jason Bay opt to follow the money elsewhere.

The other thing that makes this intriguing is the recent deal for one Jeremy Hermida. Thus far, Hermida has been a disappointment, after all, he was projected to do great things. It's possible that a change of scene is just what the twenty-five-year-old Hermida needs, and a platoon with Matsui might bring out the best in him, all while providing an emergency backup for the DH position should Papi go through a 2009-esque slump (heaven forbid).

This is all speculation for now, but it wouldn't shock me if Theo went this route should Jason Bay sign elsewhere (I absolutely DON'T see him paying the kind of money Matt Holliday is asking). Obviously, Bay will be a priority until he signs a contract somewhere, but the negotiations have been strange, to say the least.

So, could Godzilla come to Boston? Maybe. Brian Cashman has already said that he would only sign Matsui as a DH exclusively, while Hideki himself has expressed a desire to play outfield, at least a little. Most likely, 2010 will see Matsui back in pinstripes, but anything's possible on the Hot Stove.

1 comment:

  1. Hideki Matsui signing with the Red Sox would be a big surprise as I've always thought of him being like jeter: Completely seduced by the Yankees Dark Side. However, if a left field tag-team of him & Jeremy Hermida works for Boston, I'll be fine with that. But I'd prefer Jason Bay to remain where he is.