The Major League hot stove remained torrid on Thursday, but offseason speculation was replaced on the front burners by other delights of the season: gastronomic ones like stuffing and sweet potatoes. Still, several negotiations continued to simmer on back burners on Thanksgiving, and one conversation reached a rolling boil. Infielder Kazuo Matsui agreed to a contract with Japanese club Rakuten Eagles, according to The Associated Press. Matsui, most recently of the Colorado Rockies, likely concluded his Major League career after seven seasons. If, indeed, the 35-year-old’s career in the big leagues has concluded, he will finish with a .267 career average, 32 home runs and 102 stolen bases. Elsewhere, the negotiations continued between closer Mariano Rivera and the Yankees. Rivera would like a two-year contract worth $18 million per year, according to the New York Daily News. The Yankees, according to Daily News sources, would prefer to give the soon-to-be 41-year-old a one year deal.
The Red Sox have an opening at catcher, and FOXsports.com reports that the club may be pursuing Rod Barajas. Barajas became a free agent on Tuesday when the Dodgers declined to offer him arbitration. Barajas cranked 17 home runs last season, which he split between the Mets and Dodgers. He’s reached double-digits in home runs in each of the past three campaigns. Left-handed reliever George Sherrill has a minuscule chance of remaining with the Dodgers, reports the LA Times. Sherrill, who closed for the Orioles from 2008-09, had a disappointing 2010 season, but he still held left-handers to a .192 average.
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