This NY Post column
is chock-full of Yankees rumor, innuendo, speculation and fabrication. The lingering rumor from the Winter Meetings has the Yanks in talks with the Giants, and the only name everyone can agree on is Hideki Matsui.
There's been a spirited discussion
over at our Giants' blog, Lefty Malo, on this very subject. King's article says what we've been hearing for a while, that Matsui would consider waiving his no-trade clause if the Yanks asked him to. King then goes on to speculate that Matsui would have a limited role on the Yanks, if he wasn't traded because, "With Johnny Damon in left and Jason Giambi as the designated hitter, Matsui's playing time would be reduced." King is either grasping at straws here, or completely out of his mind. If Matsui is on this team, he's the everyday DH, and occasional left fielder. He isn't going to lose time to Giambi, after Melky moved to center last year, Matsui was in the lineup every day (except for the occasional day to rest his sore knee). He missed two weeks with an injury in 2007, and still played in 143 games.
Matsui will probably waive his no-trade clause because he thinks it's the honorable thing to do. It has nothing to do with a limited role if he stays with the Yanks, because his role would not be limited.
King also mentions that the Yanks may be taking a look at Kris Benson, but I wouldn't put too much credence in that one. I think they've had enough of Pavano-esque pitchers. Speaking of which, check this out
if you thought Pavano couldn't possibly hurt the Yanks anymore than he already has.
As for Matsui, if the Yanks can get viable pitching back, I don't have a problem dealing him. The Yanks have a surplus of offense, a shortage of arms (especially in the pen). The key word is "viable," however. Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson and Kevin Correia are really the only guys I see as viable options. The Giants are probably going to ask for a significant package to land Cain or Lincecum (I'd prefer Lincecum, but Cashman may prefer Cain because he's more established).
A package for either of the stud starters would probably start with Matsui and Kennedy, and end with a top hitting prospect like Tabata or A-Jax. Wilson and Correia are question marks. Giants fans see Wilson as their closer of the future, and Correia as part of their rotation in 2008, the Yanks could use the former as a set-up guy and the latter as a swing man. Is Matsui for Wilson and Correia a possibility? I'd probably do that deal.