DEC. 23: Matsuda’s offer from the Hawks is a four-year deal worth $20-25MM in total, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). That’s a sizable offer that he seems unlikely to top in Major League Baseball based on the limited reports we’ve seen connecting him to big league clubs thus far. Crasnick tweeted earlier that Matsuda will hold a press conference in Japan within a few hours to address his plans for the 2016 season.
DEC. 22: Japanese third baseman Nobuhiro Matsuda was expected to crossover into MLB this winter and perhaps even net a multi-year contract. Apparently, however, he’s now leaning towards staying in Japan, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks have offered the third baseman a five-year deal and he seems more likely to accept that than an MLB contract.
Matsuda had multiple MLB offers, according to Heyman, and the Padres were known to be a club with serious interest. Earlier this month, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune said that the Padres could have been mulling a multi-year offer for the Japanese standout. The White Sox were also identified by Heyman as a club with interest, but that was before the team’s acquisition of Todd Frazier.
Matsuda, 32, is a career .277/.325/.477 hitter in Japan and is said to be capable of handling second base and third base from a defensive standpoint. As a free agent, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks did not have the ability to attach a release fee to Matsuda. Given his age, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see Matsuda in the majors if he in fact inks a five-year deal without an MLB out.