Several articles were written yesterday about Scott Hairston’s impending free agency and his desire for to be more of an everyday player next season. Hairston said, “Wherever I wind up next year, I just want to have an expanded role. I’ve been able to get around 360 at-bats this year, and I would hope to get at least that many next year, whether it’s here or somewhere else.”
In addition to having the most at-bats in his career next to 2009 when he split time between San Diego and Oakland, he has a career high in home runs (19) and slugging percentage (.495). His ability to pound right handed pitching makes him a great asset for any ball club. But his frequent struggles against righties could give general managers pause in guaranteeing playing time during negotiations.
At the Trade Deadline, the Mets decided to keep Hairston rather than trade him to a contending team. GM Sandy Alderson said it would be easier to resign him if he finishes the season with the Mets (where have we heard that before). At that point it seemed like a no-brainer Hairston would get a few million more than the $1.1 million the Mets are paying him now to be a right handed bat off the bench and two or three day a week player in the outfield. But now, with Hairston’s now public desires to play close to everyday and the Mets with an abysmal outfield situation, he may be worth a look as one of the cheaper options to Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, or Shane Victorino. The Mets do not have a single lock for the outfield on Opening Day 2013, which means they have at least one thing Hairston wants – playing time.