NEW YORK – U.S. media reported Monday the New York Yankees have contacted Hideki Matsui about a possible return to the Bronx as designated hitter.
The news came after New York’s agreement to trade designated hitter/catcher Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Michael Pineda and Jose Campos.
“Now the Yankees must figure out who will replace Montero as their designated hitter for the 2012 season,” MLB.com reported.
“While the Yankees internally are touting a combination of minor league slugger Jorge Vazquez and veteran Andruw Jones, several veteran options are emerging on the free-agent market, as the Yankees have made contact with the representatives for Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Carlos Pena.”
Last year, Vazquez hit 32 home runs for Triple-A Scranton, while Matsui hit .251 with 12 homers and 72 RBIs in 141 games for the Oakland Athletics.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said in Tokyo on Monday that Matsui’s return to Oakland is unlikely.
The New York Post quoted CBSSports.com as calling Matsui’s return to the Yankees as a “decent fit” considering the team’s stated budget.