In an effort to bolster their lagging offense, the A's have targeted the 36-year-old former World Series MVP who spent last season with the Angels.
Nicknamed "Godzilla" for his powerful hitting, Matsui hit .274 with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs with the Angels last season, his first season in Anaheim after seven seasons with the New York Yankees.
A's manager Bob Geren was forced to mix and match in the designated hitter spot after six-time Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez wound up injured yet again and played in only 33 games. Jack Cust, who played 88 games at DH in 2010, signed last week with the Seattle Mariners.
The A's stayed in the AL West chase until late in the season -- losing out to the AL champion Texas Rangers -- and finished 81-81 for second place in the division. That was despite using the disabled list 23 times, two fewer than the franchise record set in 2008.