From Pete Abraham’s blog:
Some Japanese reporters asked Brian Cashman if Hideki Matsui could be traded and he gave them a “no comment.”
There was a time such a question would have been dismissed. But Matsui is signed to a reasonable contract ($26 million over the next two seasons) and the Yankees could get creative with him. They can use Johnny Damon in left and the Big G as the DH.
The Giants, who are desperate for offense, are reportedly interested. It would probably take Matsui and something else (a prospect) to bring back one of their starters. Matsui isn’t getting Tim Lincecum. But could he he part of a package for Noah Lowry?
Matsui has a NTC but has said he would waive it if asked.
I have mixed feelings on Matsui. He is a reliable run producer who often gets overlooked in the Yankees star-studded lineup. But after a 2004 season where it looked like he would blossom into a star, Matsui has regressed.
noMaas.org had brought up the idea of trading him to the Dodgers, but I don’t think that will be plausible with Juan Pierre and his terrible contract around.
Abraham is right that Matsui isn’t going to bring in Lincecum. But I think a deal centering around Noah Lowry might be underselling him. According to Peter Gammons, the Yankees turned down a Melky for Lowry swap last season when the Yankees were desperate for pitching. So I can’t imagine they think that highly of Lowry.
Since it’s fun to speculate, who blinks first at the following: Matsui and Ian Kennedy for Lincecum? Kennedy certainly doesn’t have Lincecum’s talent, but he’s a more polished pitcher who is from LA (not that that really matters) and Matsui would immediately be the best hitter on the Giants. The Yankees could either start Lincecum or move him into the setup role vacated by Joba.
The Yankees could have interest in Lowry or Aurilia, but they’re really just spare parts.