The Angels Find Their New DH, Ink Hideki Matsui

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIDecember 15, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06:  Hideki Matsui #55 of the New York Yankees waves to the crowd during the New York Yankees World Series Victory Celebration at City Hall on November 6, 2009 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Over the last couple of weeks, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lost their leadoff hitter and third baseman to their division rival (Seattle Mariners) and their number one starter to their playoff rival (Boston Red Sox).

That is a lot of fire power to lose over a span of a couple of weeks. Well today, the Angels added some fire power of their own.

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Angels have added former New York Yankee and last year’s World Series hero Hideki Matsui. Matsui signed a one-year, $6.5 million contract today to be the Angels’ DH in 2010. The signing ends the Vladimir Guerrero era in Los Angeles.

I am not a fan of Matsui’s—never have been—but for $6.5 million and considering that Matsui made $13 million last year, it’s a good deal for the Angels. The reason I am not a fan of Matsui is because I feel he is just a product of the great Yankees' lineups of years past.

For a guy who came over as one of Japan’s greatest home run hitters, he has only hit 30 home runs once in his seven year career. If he wasn’t a Yankee, he would be no big deal.

The key for Matsui in 2010 will be to stay healthy. At one point between Japan and the United States, Matsui played in 1,768 consecutive games. That is one impressive streak.

However, over the last four years Matsui has played in only 429 out of a possible 648 games. I think age has something to do with that. Nobody stays young forever and Matsui will be 36 in 2010.

If Matsui can stay healthy (that's a big if), he will certainly be more productive than Guerrero was in the DH spot for the Angels in 2009. He will also be more productive than “Vlad” in working the count—something Vlad never did.

Matsui is a career .292 hitter with 140 home runs in seven seasons with the Yankees.


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