2006_04_smetslogo.jpgOooh. The Mets have unloaded Kazuo Matsui to the Colorado Rockies for a bucket of balls. Actually, no. In return, the Mets get utilityman Eli Marrero. Marrero has played at catcher, first base, and in the outfield this season. Matsui, who started the season in extended spring training, joined the team after Anderson Hernandez was injured. While with the Mets this season, Matsui's shoddy defense improved, but his bat was still as dead as ever. In 130 at-bats, Matsui is right at the Mendoza line, hitting .200 with one home run and seven RBI. The homer came on his first at-bat of the season, something he's done for three straight years. When Matsui joined the Mets in 2004, he proclaimed "I love New York." We wonder if he's saying "I love Colorado Springs" right now. And he was clearly expendable to the Mets when Jose Valentin showed that he was much more useful offensively.

2006_06_smatsuiheadshot.jpgMatsui was immediately optioned by the Rockies to their AAA affiliate, but the trade isn't all bad news for the Rockies, of course. The Mets are paying the Rockies about $4.7 million in cash for the rest of Matsui's 2006 contract. For his part, Matsui had to waive several clauses in his contract - his no-trade clause, round-trip flights from Tokyo, and a car amongst others. For some reason, there was an MVP and Silver Slugger clause in Matsui's contract as well. That just strikes us as odd, but that's what an agent does, we guess.