Monday, December 14, 2009
Angels paying Matsui what he's worth
With Vladimir Guerrero gone, the Angels need a new designated hitter. And according to Tyler Kepner, they've (almost) got one:
According to an official involved in the negotiations, Matsui agreed with the Angels on Monday. The official was granted anonymity because the deal will not be announced until Matsui passes a physical exam.
Matsui decided to take the Angels’ offer rather than wait and see if the Yankees would bring him back. It was probably a wise move by Matsui, because while the Yankees never closed the door to his return, they have been very wary of making a commitment. Matsui will receive $6.5 million from the Angels, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The Yankees managed Matsui’s knee problems last season, limiting him to the same designated hitter role he will fill in Anaheim. Matsui, 35, held up for 142 games and hit .272 with 28 homers and 90 runs batted in last season.
It's worth mentioning that Matsui is taking a huge pay cut. His last contract payed him $52 million over four seasons; his new contract is paying him $6.5 million for one season. It's also worth mentioning that Matsui was actually worth only $27 million over the last four seasons ... so $6.5 million in 2010 seems almost exactly right.
Which just goes to a point that I (and others) have been making lately: Teams are doing a better job of properly valuing players, and particularly older players. Matsui's certainly good enough to play in the major leagues. But he's not good enough to earn a (relatively) huge salary, and so he's not going to.