From Anthony McCarron (Daily News):
Despite his numbers, Matsui’s status with the Yankees is unclear. He is in the final season of a four-year, $52 million contract and the Yankees want to get younger and free up at-bats at designated hitter for Jorge Posada.
Matsui would not delve too deeply into his future Sunday.
“My honest answer is I don’t know,” Matsui said. “I don’t have an answer. As a player, you just try to do better than what you’ve done before. It’s not so much about how the organization or other clubs look at me. All I’m focused on is winning a championship.”
Would he prefer to stay in New York? “I try not to think about that,” he said. “I like New York, the Yankees, the Yankee fans. It’s definitely someplace I feel comfortable.”
If the Yankees lose Matsui in order to free up DH AB’s for Jorge Posada, then I suppose McCarron is assuming that Jose Molina—he’ll have to be resigned—or Francisco Cervelli will be given a substantial number of AB’s at catcher. Is that something the Yankees really want to commit to? Defensively, that’s a win-win, but offensively, I think it’s fair to question that notion. Matsui seems open to returning at a “bargain” rate and, if he’s willing to go year-to-year, then the Yankees should definitely bring him back. He’s a professional hitter that can be rotated in and out of the DH slot in order to give Posada ample rest as well as others. In this sense, Matsui’s knee problems actually help the Yankees in terms of DH flexibility (he can’t DH everyday).
I think the team knows just how important Matsui has been to the club in 2009 and, for that reason, I also think they’ll be very hesitant to simply let him walk after the season is over (a move which has been billed by many as a foregone conclusion). In fact, the only way I see that actually occurring is if Brian Cashman opts to bring Johnny Damon back as the team’s DH while adding Matt Holliday to man left. That way, they’re not losing Matsui’s offense, instead, they’re replacing it and simultaneously bettering their defensive game. That works, right?
What do you think about Matsui? Should the Yankees keep him around for 2010, or are you a fan of the rather ambiguous and inherently problematic rotating DH idea (no, I’m not biased at all)?