Gary Matthew Jr.'s Feelings After 2009 Season

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gary Matthews Jr. has two years remaining on his contract and had no desire to return to the Angels in 2010.

"I don't expect to be back; it's time to move on," outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. said as he packed his belongings at the end of the 2009 season. "I'm ready to play for an organization that wants me to play every day. This organization has other plans, and that's OK."

Matthews signed a five-year, $50-million contract to be the Angels' center fielder in 2007 but was derailed in the second half of that season by a knee injury. Matthews eventually had surgery on the knee last winter.

The Angels signed Torii Hunter to a five-year, $90-million deal to play center field before 2008, and by this season, Matthews was relegated to a fifth outfielder role, batting .250 in 103 games, with four homers and 50 runs batted in.

Matthews has $23 million remaining on his contract and a no-trade clause that will allow him to block deals to four clubs of his choosing. He requested a trade last March and again around the All-Star break and has had numerous discussions with General Manager Tony Reagins, who appears willing to accommodate Matthews' request.

However, the Angels are expected to have to eat a significant portion of that $23 million in order to trade Matthews, 35.

"I just feel like it's time for me to play for an organization that believes I can contribute every day, from day one," Matthews said.

As for his hefty contract, Matthews said he doesn't expect it to be a deterrent.

"It's definitely not as big as it was a year ago," Matthews said. "Obviously, there are some teams that can't afford it, but when I'm playing every day, I feel I can be a top-line center fielder, and that, I would think, is what a lot of teams want."

Props to the LA Times for the info.


Said You Were said...

Pie him? Not this yr.