Hideki Matsui could know more about where he'll be playing next season before the end of the coming week. The A's and Rays head the list of potential candidates. (via Nikkan Sports) Sports Hochi reports that an unnamed source mentioned the A's owner essentially demanding that the A's sign Matsui. The same unnamed source also said that the A's were planning on offering a 1-year deal worth about US$5M (about 420M yen) to Matsui.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel (via Nikkan Sports) with the Baltimore Orioles no longer appearing interested in Kenshin Kawakami, the Pirates may be in the lead for the righty, but not without some pitfalls. A snip:
The Winter Meetings ended with the Pirates still engaged in talks with the Atlanta Braves about a trade for pitcher Kenshin Kawakami. The Baltimore Orioles no longer seem interested in the right-hander, which could give the Pirates the inside track.
There are two potential hang-ups. The first is how much of Kawakami's $6.67 million contract the Braves are willing to eat. The second could be the status of lefty Paul Maholm, whom the Pirates have made available.