As it has been widely reported, it appears that Scott Hairston is mulling his options between two teams: the Mets and the Yankees. Hairston is looking for a two-year deal, while most teams are only willing to offer him a one-year deal. However, Adam Rubin is reporting that the Mets may eventually cave in and be willing to give Hairston a two-year deal.
Hairston earned $1.1 million last year for the Mets, and no one can blame him for trying to cash in after an effective 2012 season. Last year in only 377 at-bats, Hairston slugged 20 home runs, 25 doubles while driving in 57 runs. In 2012, Hairston sported a healthy .263/.299./.504 slash line.
That’s good bang for the buck.
Hairston has stated this winter that he wants to stay with the Mets. While other teams can perhaps offer more money, the Mets could offer more stability and most of all a starting position. Hairston would prefer to earn his money by playing on a regular basis, as opposed to being a team’s fourth outfielder.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman recently tweeted the interest the Yanks have in Hairston is waning. With not that many people willing to meet Hairston’s demands; by default he may end up back with the Mets. Hairston has also stated that he may consider a one-year deal if the pot is sweet enough. There is also the chance that the Hairston camp used the Yanks’ interest (significant or moderate) to drive up the price for the Mets.
For a team that could use all the outfield help it can get, Hairston returning to the Mets makes the most sense. For a team also bereft of anyone who could hit against lefties (Hairston did bat .286 against lefties last year and hit 11 of his 20 home runs off southpaws), the re-signing of Hairston does seem to be a no-brainer.
With the Mets’ outfield a jumbled mess and the team looking to place square pegs to fit in to round holes, re-signing Hairston does bring some stability to an outfield in flux. Hairston is a vet who could be the bridge before the Mets can ideally bring in legitimate high-dollar free agents. This may not be the season for the Mets to gamble on signing expensive outfield free agents.
Granted, the outfield is a concern and one barren of major talent, this year could be better used to adequately evaluate what the future exactly holds for the likes of Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the recently acquired Collin Cowgill. Conceivably the Mets could also give Matt den Dekker a look this season as well this year. After the 2013 season, the Mets can accurately assess who belongs and who doesn’t and then go about opening up the checkbooks once some of the big contracts come off the books.
While the signing of Hairston may appear to look like the placing of a band aid on a broken leg, it does make sense for the time being. And for what he’s asking for, Hairston is worth the moderate risk.
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