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12/15/2010: Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara, Ryota Igarashi

by on Dec.15, 2010 @ 5:49 pm, under MLB

According to the San Francisco Chronicle and numerous other reports, Hideki Matsui's one-year deal with the Oakland A's is worth US$4.25M.  Matsui was also presented with the number 55.

Nikkan Sports: Bob Geren told reporters that he plans on using Hideki Matsui primarily as a DH.  Billy Beane wanted Matsui not only for his power, but also for his bat control.

Sponichi notes that there were about 10 members of the US press and close to 100 members of the Japanese press and that the A's are thinking of batting Matsui in the 4 or 5 slot.

Nikkan Sports also has some comments from Matsui's press conference:

What was you reason for picking Oakland?

The Athletics got in early and push hard for me.  And I could also feel just how badly they wanted me.  And they offered me a deal a lot sooner than I thought, and everything fell into place quickly.

Your impression of the team?

They have a great team full of young players with potential.  Their strength lies in the pitching staff.  The rest is figuring out how to score runs.  If I work hard, I think there's a chance we can make the playoffs.

This season didn't go exactly to plan.  What are you determined to do in your 19th season as a pro?

This year, I really worked hard, perhaps more than in the past.  It might take me a little time to get adjusted with the move, but I just need to play.  I strongly feel that my knees and my body are in great condition.  I'm certain I'll be full prepared to play.  And getting into the line-up everyday is very important.

Your thoughts on the green uniform?

More than the color, I'm just happy to wear a uniform full of tradition.  As for whether it looks good on me, I'll let you guys decide.

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Nikkan Sports reports that Koji Uehara's 2nd year option kicks in if he appears in more than about 30 games.  The base salary for the 2nd year is apparently US$3.5M plus incentives (about US$2.5M fully maxed out).

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Ryota Igarashi left for the US via Narita today and probably won't return to Japan until the end of next season.  Seems he wants to experience Christmas and New Years in the US at least once in his life.