Astros second baseman Kaz Matsui is in the final season of a three-year, $16.5MM pact signed in December of 2007. Matsui's flat start combined with the strong play of Jeff Keppinger has led to the two men splitting time at second. One has to imagine that Matsui will find himself relegated to the bench if he cannot boost his .214 OPS in the near future.
Of course, putting a player set to earn $5MM on the pine is rather wasteful. However, drumming up a market for the native of Japan may prove to be difficult. After a solid campaign in 2008, Matsui hit just.250/.302/.357 in '09. Fangraphs estimates that his play last season was barely worth more than half of what he earned as his defense was also pedestrian.
If Matsui can get back to his 2008 form, could the Astros find a taker for him without absorbing the majority of the money he is owed?