Sponichi reports that Don Mattingly is interested in Hideki Matsui and checked on things like his health, whether or not he can play the field, and how much he might cost (apparently, about US$2M). The report also mentions that he suggested the Dodgers look into signing Matsui as an OF/bat off the bench.
A separate Sponichi report mentions that where Matsui plays next season will likely depend on what his priorities are: the Tampa Bay Rays have shown interest, but the artificial turf may not be good for his knees; the Baltimore Orioles are interested but they may not be a championship caliber team; and playing for an NL team will likely mean less playing time.
Sports Hochi adds that Matsui probably will not be able to make a decision until after the new year.
Nikkan Sports notes that the Washington Nationals may be interested in Hisashi Iwakuma, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Wei-Ying Chen.
When reporters asked what Hiroyuki Nakajima what thought when he found out the Yankees won negotiation rights he said, "I thought, 'wow.' A great team won the bid."
When asked for more detailed information, he replied, "I still do not know what will happen.
Hisanobu Watanabe offered his two cents and said, "I was surprised. They have a lot of good infielders, but Nakaji is the kind of player that thrives in tough situations."
And when Nakajima reported the news to Tatsunori Hara, he replied, "That is great news. But if you join the Yankees, where will you play?"
Sports Hochi quotes a unnamed baseball rep as saying that says Hiroki Kuroda is no closer to signing with the Colorado Rockies, despite the possibility that he may have received a one-year deal worth US$13M, because he is not fully satisfied with what they are being offered. Sports Hochi also adds that the Arizona Diamondbacks may begin to push harder for Kuroda.
Daisuke Matsuzaka made an appearance at Webster House in New Hampshire on Thursday (via Sponichi). There is also a NESN video interview with Matsuzaka that goes into his rehab progress and his thoughts on Bobby Valentine.
With Rodriguez and Gonzalez on the roster, the Brewers have about $85 million committed to 15 players with guaranteed contracts and projected arbitration settlements. They operated last season with a payroll of about $95 million.
The Rodriguez decision could stop the Brewers from adding another reliever from the free-agent market. Melvin had shown interest in re-signing Takashi Saito but stopped short of an actual offer to agent Nez Balelo.
"I gave him some of the parameters we'd be interested in," said Melvin, who expects Balelo to try to get a better deal with another club.
Norichika Aoki told reporters on Friday that he looked forward to the possibility of facing Yu Darvish in the US.