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NPB interest in Kazuo Matsui so far…

by on May.21, 2010 @ 11:29 am, under MLB, NPB

Since Kazuo Matsui hasn't cleared waivers and been officially released by the Houston Astros, anything is still possible.  But teams in Japan have begun to show interest in the former Seibu Lion.

Yakult Swallows

This team appears to be the most interested.  And it makes sense, considering all the ruckus they've been making about bringing in some fresh blood.  What likely makes Matsui even more appealing is the fact that he has MLB experience, but won't take up a foreign player spot on the roster.

Seibu Lions

His former team doesn't really have a position for him to play, so they'll likely pass.  But they are interested in seeing where he ends up going.  Club president Shinji Kobayashi said, "He was a former Lion, so there is interest, but it's not like we're in a position to do anything right away."

Softbank Hawks

Sadaharu Oh told reporters that if Matsui was an outfielder that could hit 40 home runs right away, he'd jump on the opportunity.  Matsui isn't really either, so that probably rules out the Hawks.

Rakuten Eagles

The Eagles club rep Jun Yoneda said that while the team had interest in Matsui because they're always interested in strengthening their players up the middle, they have had no discussions about his.  The Eagles are also recently signed Randy Ruiz, which means they probably don't have room for Matsui at this point in time.

Hanshin Tigers

The Tigers flat out denied any interest in Matsui.  They believe they have all the non-pitching pieces they need in order to win.

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants rep told reporters that he had no comment.

So at this point, it would seem that the NPB team most interested in Kazuo Matsui is the Yakult Swallows.  They actually might be an interesting match.  But I think the big question there would be cost and whether or not the Swallows would want to foot the bill.

Incidentally, there's a Sponichi article that mentions the Rockies and Orioles could be interested in Matsui once he hits the FA market because they're weak at second base.



その日に退団発表 ヤクルト「天の声かな」 (Sponichi)

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古巣・西武は静観の構え…ソフトバンクも調査? (Sponichi)

楽天 松井稼に「興味がないとは言えない ただ…」 (Sponichi)

阪神「現有戦力で」巨人「言うことない」 (Sponichi)