The Merc today announced Matthews as a top priority for the Giants and could be a Bochy influenced interest since he has played twice for Bochy, once as rookie and once just before joining the Rangers and finally doing well.
As many here suspected, he would play CF and push Winn to a corner OF spot (RF if Bonds return, LF perhaps if not and Linden in RF).
I took the liberty to strip out his home numbers - Rangers home is homer haven normally - particularly for left-handed hitters and he's a switch-hitter. Hmmm, oddly enough, his batting line is pretty much the same, home or road, while with the Rangers, though HR-rate much better at home, they landed for more doubles on the road, resulting in SLG about the same, either way:
Home: .280/.352/.464/.816; 25 AB/HR
Road: .289/.349/.471/.820; 34 AB/HR
That's approximately the difference between a 20 HR season and a 25 HR season.
He'll be 32 years old for next season, so assuming this would be a 3 years contract of some sort (either 2+option or 3), this would cover his 32, 33, 34 years. Which, of course, are the years most players are prone to diving to their retirement.
My most immediate impression (smell, really) right now of Gary Matthews is of a Michael Tucker-lite redux with a dash of Randy Winn. Player who has enough talent to start playing significant time at age 25, but never good enough to win a starting position, though Gary basically did last season, playing 147 games with 620 AB and 678 PA. About average in OBP, not that great with the power but OK, will get you around 15-20 HR annually, plus good defense, can play all OF positions, but, while speedy, is pretty bad stealing bases. And now, at age 31, had his career year and probably wants a big contract and a starting position.
I can see the Sabean spin on him now: he is much younger (32 vs. Moises 40), good hitter with some pop and speed, great defense in CF, leadoff hitter, veteran leadership.
From a personnel standpoint, I can see the fit, particularly if we get Bonds back. Bonds in LF, Matthews in CF, Winn in RF, with Linden as the 4th OF, sucking up starts in LF (when Bonds rest, 40-60 games) and RF (when Matthews or Winn rest, 30-60 games) plus starter when the inevitable injury comes along (don't know Matthews history, if games missed were due to being a bench player or being injured frequently; I presume the former).
But after hitting .313/.371/.495/.866 with 19 HR and 102 runs and 79 RBI, he is not going to be looking for a Michael Tucker-ish 2 year/$3-4M contract, he's going to want 3-4 years at $5-7M per season, and that I would have a problem with, no way we pay him for one great season, that's another Adrian Beltre-type of insanity signing, or actually closer to a Robby Thompson-ish, particularly with him being 32 for next season and headed for the decline most players experience in that age range, after a career year at a late point in the career.
I like the son of a Giant angle, but only at the right price and I think he's going to be asking for too much. I would rather pass on him, but he is the proto-typical Sabean player acquisition of the past few years, someone with good but not great stats, got some issues, particularly age, and there's not really much going on that really encourages the fan to think we can win with him.
If this is the caliber of players Bochy's influence is bringing in, all I can say is "Ugh" and "Ewww".
But I will still give the new "team" a chance to wow me, but starting off with Matthews would be starting the honeymoon off with a big downer, it would be like the new wife coming into the honeymoon bedroom wearing a long flannel plaid gown and green moisturizing cream all over her face.