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MLB Winter Meetings 2010: Hideki Matsui Meets With Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics have had some trouble thus far in their attempts to land a big bat for their lineup. Adrian Beltre has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to play in the cavernous Oakland Coliseum, while Lance Berkman took a year less with St. Louis to play a bit closer to his Houston home.

Now the A’s might have someone actually interested in playing at the Coliseum. Susan Slusser is reporting that Oakland GM Billy Beane met with Hideki Matsui’s agent, Arn Tellem. Matsui has reportedly stated in the past that he had some interest in potentially playing for the Oakland A’s. It remains to be seen whether a deal will be worked out, but the Athletics do have a nice chunk of change available from the posting fee they’ll get back after being unable to sign Hisashi Iwakuma. The $19 million could potentially be used to get Matsui and/or a fourth or fifth starter.

After earning $73 million over seven years and two contracts with the Yankees, Matsui signed a one year deal for $6 million with the Angels this past season. Although his numbers were down in Anaheim, Matsui still put together a line of .274/.361/.459. His slugging percentage would have led the A’s, as would have his 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. He split his time primarily between fourth and fifth in the Angels lineup, and I’d imagine he’d slot in at the No. 4 spot in the order for the Athletics. Normally he wouldn’t be a guy hitting cleanup, but considering the lack of pop in the A’s lineup, he’d become the most serious power threat.

The other upside to negotiating with Matsui is that he spent a vast majority of his time as a designated hitter, which means fewer concerns about a player demanding to play the field. In 145 games, Matsui spent 120 games as a designated hitter with 87% of his at bats coming as a DH.