With the Rockies struggles at second, specifically Clint Barmes, and his line of .214/.273/.339/.612 plus his four errors already on the short season, many fans are wondering and dreaming about the glory days of 2007 and wondering if Kaz is an answer.
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Maybe.
Did anyone wonder why the Astros waited until after their first game to release Matsui?
It wasn’t a coincidence. The Astros and the Rockies were doing a little tire kicking on players. One of them was Kaz Matsui.
I have a contact/source that told me, the Rockies said, no way would they take Matsui and his contract, and wouldn’t even give a low-level prospect for him, even if the Astro’s picked up all of his salary.
The Astros were holding out hope, that the Rockies would be the one team that might be interested in Matsui. When the Rockies said no way, the Astros put him on waivers.
Why were the Rockies not interested in a trade for Matsui?
Scouts seem to think Kaz is aging hard and fast. His range is dropping. In fact, his dropping fielding ratings are scary close to Barmes.
Matsui’s RZR rating for 2010 is .769 to Barmes’ .765. Both only have an OOZ rating of two.
For those that don’t understand these two fielding stats, those are both bad. Both struggle with balls in the zone, and both, have little to no range.
Matsui, also is going to get paid five million dollars for the season. I should point out that Kaz’s line for 2010 is: 141/.197/.155/.352 That’s a long way from 2007, which was three years ago.
Some baseball players have a short shelf life, and many are scouts are saying that Matsui is a shadow of his former self. He’s 34. All that added up to Matsui being too risky even for the best of deals.
Now for the interesting part.
If Matsui clears waivers, and everyone expects him to as no team is going to pick up that contract, the Rockies WOULD be interested in Matsui on a minor-league deal, according to my inside source.
If you remember, that is how they brought him over in 2006 from the Mets.
Some wonder if Kaz’s heart is still in baseball, and especially in playing in America. He could be a better fit in Japan, and many believe he will return to Japan.
But if the Matsui wants to keep playing here, and would give it a try at Colorado Springs, the Rockies would take a flier, if only for injury depth and old times sake’s.
Also featured on: The Rockies Reporter