Multiple reports have the Angels close to signing Hideki Matsui for a one year $6.5 Million contract.
The reason the Angels have been pursuing Hideki Matsui to basically fill the Vladimir Guerrero role can be summed up with one word: BILLBOARDS.
There are two players in baseball who sells billboards, and they aren't John Lackey and Vladimir Guerrero. They are Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui. The Angels could recoup almost all of our soon-to-be new DH's salary in a few deals that will put them on the radar of advertising partners that the divorcing Dodgers can only dream of...
The new Angels President, John Carpino, was a giant in the billboard industry and understands them like Bill James understands baseball. He was Arte Moreno's Alma-Mater approved capo at Outdoor Systems and is the person besides Moreno most responsible for making Arte a billionaire. Our new team president is obviously putting his stamp on the Angels. That and the fact that he was the 2nd biggest Yankee fan (to Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl) on Earth before joining Arte with the team ties him to this move.
This signing is a goodbye to Vladimir Guerrero. We love you Vladdy, but you don't move teevee sets in Tokyo. It is an unsentimental move to bring in revenue from other streams besides ticket sales and at least the Angels have an expert in the outdoor advertising field operating behind the scenes.
Hideki Matsui will sell more billboards in the stadium and introduce Angels management to partnerships with corporate advertisers that were off limits to anyone besides the top tier of international markets only last week. Welcome to the future, Angels fans... expect red pinstripes by 2012.