The future of Scott Hairston has New York at a standstill

Is the title of this post a statement or merely a question about the lack of news surrounding the moves both the Mets and Yankees are making lately?

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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15 comments for “The future of Scott Hairston has New York at a standstill

  1. David Groveman
    January 10, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I am just going to refuse to get excited about Hairston. If he signs, great, good, okay… what now? If he doesn’t, oh well…

    • Dan Stack
      January 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Agreed, it is what it is.

  2. NormE
    January 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Dan, granted that the outfield is inadequate and the need for a right handed power hitter is important, but there is a more important priority.

    Given the limited financial resources Alderson has (or is willing to use) the most important priority to me is acquiring a starting pitcher who can
    pick up the innings void left by the trading of RA Dickey. It would be folly to think that Niese, Harvey, Santana, Gee and Mejia/Hefner/McHugh
    can fill that whole. The long range prospects for Mets success says that you don’t allow your talent to burn out by throwing too many innings early in their careers.
    The bullpen also needs the relief brought by the addition of an innings eater or Carson, Edgin and others may find themselves being abused as was Byrdak, Feliciano and others.

    • Dan Stack
      January 10, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      No argument there. The money the Mets do have should go to the starting pitching and trying to fill the void left by Dickey.

  3. Name
    January 10, 2013 at 11:54 am

    If we sign him, the perception now is that Hairston was a band aid. If we somehow make the playoffs, the signing could be viewed as the cherry on the top.

    I think 2 years 8-10 isn’t outrageous, though if he’s willing to accept a 1 year deal, it might be worth investigating a 1 yr 6 million deal. I don’t think Sandy is going to spend much anyways so giving Hairston an extra 1-2 million this year won’t impact his other spending.

    • David Groveman
      January 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      2 years $8-10 seems like a waste to me.

      • Name
        January 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm

        Waste of what?

        • David Groveman
          January 11, 2013 at 9:55 am

          Waste of $4-5 Mil a year

    • January 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      If the Mets were willing to part with 5 million for R.A. what makes you think they’ll spend 6 on a 4th outfielder? Two years for 4-5 million. Even that would be excessive. I could see your 8-10 if Hairston has done it for several years in a row on a full time basis. Andruw Jones received 2 million as a 4th outfielder. I don’t see how you can value Hairston at triple that rate. You’re not going to reward him for having a good year. He’s not indispensable.

  4. JerryGrote
    January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    the nominal gain of Scott Hairston (over, let’s say Mike Baxter) really isn’t that consequential. The nominal gain of … let’s say an improved Shawn Marcum over … Hefner might be incredibly consequential.

    You have other players that really aren’t that much worse than Scott Hairston. You have absolutely no one to pitch all the innings, and forcing someone into the role could
    a. destroy their future, because they aren’t ready at so young an age (see: every young Atlanta pitcher)
    b. increase substantially the workload of a miserable bullpen, which in turn would
    c. increase the desire to overwork the rest of the rotation.

    Weighing that against giving as many of the 2300 ABs to young talent in the OF that has already shown a capacity to at least live up to Hairston? C’mon. I’m not sweating Hairston for a minute, and the Mets FO better not be using words like “fulltime” or “starter” in a sentence with him unless it’s prefaced with “not”.

    • Name
      January 10, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      You would like to think that signing Hairston and Marcum are not mutually exclusive events, but at this point we can’t be sure of anything. But if they are, i agree with you that Marcum would be more of an upgrade than Hairston.
      As for Depth, they have Laffey and McHugh on the forefront, and Meija and Schwinden behind them.

      • JerryGrote
        January 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

        LOL. Hairston AND Marcum? LOL. You a funny, funny guy.

        • Name
          January 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm

          I’m pretty sure the money saved on Wright and Bay alone could cover the costs for Hairston and Marcum, but it’s a question of whether they want to spend that money.

    • Chris F
      January 11, 2013 at 6:39 am

      Im in full agreement. All this talk about Hairston (whom I really like) is much ado about nothing. He does not figure into long range plans, where the Mets chance for success lies, and so keep him or not means pretty little, particularly in the face of the potential real shortage of IP from our starting rotation. I think we could hurt the starter by rushing them, which will only put a lot of extra pressure on a pen that cant handle 8 and 9 without a ton of drama. Any moves that dont get free innings from starters we dont care about are not great in my eyes.

  5. January 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    If the Mets re-sign Hairston, the happiest person would be Ike Davis. Knowing he would a consistent right handed bat behind him all season should provide Ike with an opportunity to hit 35-40 home runs. In addition the Mets wouldn’t have to run out every other day a different line-up. At the very least they would be set at the 3,4, and 5 hole. Platoon right field and let’s see what they can do about center field.

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