Scott Hairston enjoyed a solid year last season with the New York Mets, and he appears to be on the verge of cashing in on it by agreeing to a two year, $6 million deal with the Cubs. The deal, which has yet to be announced by the team, is pending a successful physical.
Cubs fans may recall that Hairston’s brother Jerry spent parts of two seasons on the North Side as well. The younger Hairston, like Jerry, has the ability to play the outfield as well as second base. Unlike the older brother, Scott features more pop compared to the average conscious Jerry.
If Scott can get into 130 plus games per season, it is not out of reason to see him put up 15 plus homer and 50 plus RBI numbers. Known to kill left handed pitching, Cubs fans can think of Hairston as as the outfield version of Jeff Baker but with more power. The former Met appears to be the perfect compliment to the left handed Nate Schierholtz as a right field platoon pairing. Hairston could also spell the left handed David DeJesus or even veteran Alfonso Soriano in left field, the outfield position Hairston has seen the most action at.
The signing also poses roster questions, as the Cubs are already maxed out on the 40 man roster. Those of you who follow the team and Cubbies Crib closely will already know that the North Siders have the signing of Carlos Villanueva in a holding partner because of the roster issue. The Hairston deal would put the team two over the limit.
Unless the front office has a trade brewing (a realistic possibility given the tight lipped nature of Theo Epstein and Company), the odd man out in the Cubs outfield would have to be Tony Campana. We may also get a better idea of just where Dave Sappelt stands in the eyes of Epstein and Jed Hoyer, considering the former Red is also a right handed hitting OF. While the veteran Hairston is certainly just a temporary solution for outfield depth, Sappelt currently figures to have the lower ceiling when compared to a Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, or Jorge Soler.
Oct. 3, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets left fielder Scott Hairston (12) at bat against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Mets won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
We are sure to find out the actual roster moves over the next few days, but in the mean time, Cubs fans with Hairston jerseys from Jerry’s time in Chicago will be able to pull them out of the back of the closest or attic and dust them off for 2013.