There have been some recent comments made by readers of this blog that the Yankees should consider trading Hideki Matsui (in order to ensure playing time for Melky Cabrera in 2007).
As much as I love Melky Cabrera, I do not agree with this suggestion.
Matsui is a winner. In 33 career post-season career games with the Yankees, Hideki has an OBA of .377 and a SLG% of .556 (in 135 AB). Further, in 2004, Hideki Matsui led all Yankees batters with 44 RCAA. (And, last year, he was 5th on the team in RCAA).
Matsui’s been out for most of this season and all of a sudden some people think he’s turned into Craig Wilson. Absence does make the heart forget, I suppose.
There’s no reason why the Yankees cannot rotate Cabrera, Damon, Abreu and Matsui in the outfield and D.H. next year and get everyone enough PA to keep them happy.
Saying hello again to Matsui does not mean having to say good-bye to Cabrera. What it should mean is saying good-bye to Bernie Williams.
Also, look back at Bernie Williams career. In 1991, Bernie got 320 ABs. That was cut back to 261 in 1992. Bernie then became a full-time player in 1993 – and, then, two years later Williams was a star.
I can see Melky doing the same – about 400 AB this season, a little less than that in 2007, then he takes over for Abreu in 2008 (and becomes a full-timer). And, around 2010, he’s an All-Star.
There’s no need to move Matsui to make this happen for Cabrera.