Kaz Matsui Clears Waivers

MONDAY, 2:09pm: Matsui has cleared waivers and is now a free agent, tweets Alyson Footer.  The Astros will be on the hook for his $5MM salary, minus the pro-rated league minimum.

WEDNESDAY, 11:02pm: The Astros have asked waivers on Kaz Matsui and intend to release the infielder, GM Ed Wade said in a team press release. If no team claims Matsui by Monday, he will become a free agent, though the Astros will be responsible for his $5MM salary. The Astros called Oswaldo Navarro up from Triple A in a corresponding move.

The Astros signed Matsui to a three-year $16.5MM deal in 2007 and were rewarded a promising initial season. Matsui hit .293/.354/.427 with 20 steals in 25 attempts in 2008, though he played in just 96 games. The 34-year-old hasn't been as productive since and his batting line has fallen off to .141/.197/.155 this year. The Astros, whose offense ranks last in the NL, had to move on.

Matsui's batting line won't have suitors lining up and his fielding has been below average since joining the Astros (according to UZR). Last fall, Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Astros could consider the possibility of Matsui returning to Japan. Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports today that Matsui did not say whether he would consider a return to his native country.

11 Responses to Kaz Matsui Clears Waivers Leave a Reply

  1. vtadave 5 years ago

    Best move ever for Wade. Now all he has to do is rebuild a barren farm system, trade Oswalt and Berkman, undo the Brandon Lyon signing, find someone to believe in Carlos Lee’s recent resurgance, and well, about 100 other things. Then the Astros will have some hope.

  2. piratesmvp04 5 years ago

    I feel for those Astros. In Pittsburgh, we’re in the same boat. Fortunately, our rebuilding is a little further along though. But, the above comment is correct. Astros need to trade and restock talent in the minors.

  3. I can’t imagine that anyone would claim him off waivers with that salary, but I would bet that he quickly gets a shot with some team out there for the league minimum.

  4. coldgoldenfalstaff 5 years ago

    It’s about time. They should have cut him this winter.

  5. vtadave-are you nuts? Brandon Lyon has been pitching extremely well. Also Oswalt and Berkman have been playing well. There are other ways to rebuild then just simply trading away their best veteran players. I suggest rebuilding around Berkman and Oswalt. Both of them want to play in Houston, and both seem to suggest they will be retiring when fairly soon. (Oswalt when his current contract is over, and Berkman withen a couple years). Not to mention the Astros have 3 of the first 33 picks in this years draft.

    • BentoBox 5 years ago

      You don’t build around old players.

    • BentoBox 5 years ago

      You don’t build around old players.

    • aap212 5 years ago

      This isn’t basketball. Three players don’t mean you’re half way to a team.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      “Not to mention the Astros have 3 of the first 33 picks in this years draft.”

      They do not draft well so what’s point?

  6. he could go to the Padres on the pro-rated minimum and help out at second base, that way they can move David Eckstein to short and get at least some production out of their second baseman until they can trade for a good shortstop and move Eck back to second base. All Matsui could have needed a change of scenery. He was good in the NL West, so why not take a chance on him? Just a theory.

  7. jwsox 5 years ago

    whitesox…then they can cut omar visquell lose. finally….or give him a shot to start at second and move gordon beckham to the minors for a bit till he figures his swing out and when he does…if kaz is hitting then keep him at second and move gordon back to 3rd and get mark teahan out of baseball

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