Kaz Matsui inks deal with Astros
HOUSTON – Second baseman Kaz Matsui finalized a $16.5 million, three-year contract with the Houston Astros on Sunday, a little more than a month after helping the Colorado Rockies to their first World Series appearance.The 32-year-old switch-hitter batted .288 with four homers and 37 RBIs for, stealing 32 bases and scoring 84 runs – his best totals in the majors. Houston swiped only 65 bases this year, the third-lowest in the NL.General manager Ed Wade said Matsui will likely bat second, behind speedy center fielder Michael Bourn, acquired last month from Philadelphia.”Kaz is an ideal fit for our club,” Wade said. “He steals bases, moves runners and takes the extra base.”Matsui gets a $1.5 million signing bonus, payable upon approval, and yearly salaries of $5 million. Houston will provide a translator and a physical therapist.In addition, Matsui has a limited no-trade provision.He has a .272 average in four seasons with the New York Mets (2004-06) and Colorado (2006-07). He hit .304 with a home run in the playoffs, including his first career grand slam in the second game of the first-round series against the Phillies.- The Associated Press
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