Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000 reports had it first: the Astros have signed second baseman Kaz Matsui to a three year deal worth $15-16MM. Ed Wade saved Jim Hendry from himself. Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald and Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle confirm the signing. Richard Justice speculates that the ‘Stros could shop Chris Burke now, and maybe even package him with Luke Scott.
Matsui is the early favorite for worst free agent signing of the winter. He is probably not worth half the money, and a three-year commitment for him is insane. Since he joined the Rockies in August of 2006, Matsui hit .256/.305/.370 away from Coors Field.
Not that Matsui is a legitimate starting second baseman, but the signing clearly leaves Tadahito Iguchi as the one free agent starter at the position. That is, unless David Eckstein opts to market himself as a second baseman.