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Hideki Matsui and Ichiro on the same team?

by on Dec.13, 2009 @ 2:04 pm, under MLB

So it seems the Seattle Mariners are in the race for Hideki Matsui.  Or at least that's according to what Sponichi is saying.  With Adrian Beltre and Erik Bedard likely becoming free agents, and Kenji Johjima in Japan, the Mariners free up about $27M -- based on 2009 salaries for Beltre ($12M) and Bedard ($7.74) and Johjima's $7.7M he was to make in 2010.  And while they do have Ken Griffey Jr to DH, he likely won't be in the starting line-up every day (he played in 117 games in 2009).

Sponichi adds that the Mariners could stay in the Matsui sweepstakes as long as the Angels are interested because they don't necessarily want him to join the Angels.  And even though it could just be posturing, the fact that the Mariners claim to be in the hunt helps drive up the price for Matsui.

There is one interesting side note.  It seems the Mariners going after Matsui might not be that far-fetched an idea.  His three year at Safeco Field shows that he must enjoy hitting there.

Park AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Angel Stadium 39 8 9 1 1 3 4 6 0 11 0 0 .231 .333 .538 .871
Safeco Field 42 8 16 4 0 3 7 4 0 6 0 0 .381 .435 .690 1.125

It is a small sample-set, but it does appear to be one of the parks in the AL he hits well in (he also hits well at Fenway and the Ballpark in Arlington).  So maybe it does make sense that the Mariners are interested in Matsui.  And while Matsui isn't a great outfielder, made potentially worse with his knees, that would give the Mariners someone to play some left as well.