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FILE -- The Oakland A's and free agent slugger Hideki Matsui are very close to finalizing a contract, according to multiple sources. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

Multiple sources have indicated to Bay Area News Group that the A's and free agent slugger Hideki Matsui are very close to finalizing a contract.

Terms are not known, but it's believed the A's have been considering Matsui on a one-year deal throughout this offseason.

Team officials don't comment on free agents until deals are finalized, but A's general manager Billy Beane met with Matsui's agent Arn Tellem during last week's winter meetings, and those talks were fruitful.

The A's are in search of a designated hitter to replace Jack Cust, who was non-tendered and signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners last week.

It's believed Matsui, 36, moved to the top of the A's DH wish list after Lance Berkman signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Matsui hit .274 with 21 homers and 84 RBIs last season with the Los Angeles Angels. He spent his first seven major league seasons with the New York Yankees.



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