Updated on Jan. 15 by Joe D.
Some interesting tidbits from Jon Heyman tonight regarding our boy Scott Hairston…
Heyman tweeted that the Mets balked when Hairston asked them for $8 million over two years. That must have turned Sandy ten different shades of purple. It’s a significant raise for Hairston who has never made more than $2.45 million in his career, but not totally unreasonable either. Hairston was paid $1.1 million a year for the past two seasons with the Mets and has never had a multi-year deal in his career. It is believed the Mets countered with a one-year offer worth $2 million, leaving the two sides at a stalemate in negotiations.
Heyman also says that the Chicago Cubs have tossed their hat into the ring so the Mets do have some competition, but it’s been well documented that he prefers to stay in New York.
Earlier today, Jim Bowden of ESPN XM reported that Hairston is expected to make a decision this week.
If Hairston does re-sign with the Mets, their outfield which was going to be significantly upgraded, will remain virtually unchanged with utility outfielder Collin Cowgill replacing Jason Bay.
Isn’t it amazing the smallish things that make the Mets balk these days?
This is still New York right?
Updated on Jan. 11
In case you were wondering, the reason the Mets haven’t yet signed Scott Hairston is not because they don’t like him, it’s because… Wait for it… they would like to acquire a bigger name outfielder first. That’s what Jon Heyman is reporting this afternoon.
So in other words a big name outfielder is Plan A, and Hairston is Plan B.
So in other strange but true news…
Original Post Jan. 10
It appears the Yankees are backing off free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston, and the buzz from the Phillies has trickled to a halt as well.
If the the New York Mets are willing to give Hairston the two year deal he craves, he’ll most likely be in the Mets Opening Day lineup.
Hairston, 32, continues to hold out for a multi-year deal even though his agent said he was with days of reaching an accord on Monday.
The other sticking point is that Hairston wants a starting role and no team views him that way. But the Mets can be the one team that can give him the most playing time by virtue of how weak their current outfield array is – made up mostly of Quad-A players and utility types.
It’s well know that Hairston’s greatest asset is his ability to mash lefthanded pitching. His OPS is almost 100 points higher against southpaws than righties over his career. The Mets can certainly use his bat.
On Saturday, in his weekly mailbag post for Mets.com, Anthony DiComo took the following question about the Mets outfield.
What do you think about the acquisition of Collin Cowgill? No disrespect to the man, but why don’t we add someone else who actually has good career numbers in the Majors and not the Minors? Who do you think they would’ve gone after?
If you’re asking who’s the best lefty masher on the market, he’s still out there: Scott Hairston. The Mets could still acquire Hairston and fix a lot of their outfield problems. Kirk Nieuwenhuis would fall into a center-field platoon with Cowgill, while Hairston would fill in regularly at the corners for Lucas Duda and Mike Baxter. It would not be an ideal scenario, but at least it would be a workable one. And it’s one that still might happen.
The previous paragraph defines Cowgill as a player: a platoon outfielder on paper, but possibly a legitimate one. The Mets aren’t likely to give Cowgill many at-bats against right-handers, given his extreme splits over an admittedly small Major League sample. But because Cowgill can play center field, he fills a critical need for the Mets, who are wary of relying on Nieuwenhuis every day.
Two days ago I speculated that Hairston would probably agree to a deal with the Mets or some other team by Friday. But his insistence on a two year deal may keep that from happening now.