Non-Tender Candidate: Scott Hairston

As we discussed on the weekend, the four-player January trade between the Athletics and Padres included at least one 2010 non-tender candidate, in Kevin Kouzmanoff. For their part though, the A's gave up a player who appears even likelier to be non-tendered this offseason: Scott Hairston.

When the Padres re-acquired Hairston last winter, he was coming off one of his finest seasons in the bigs. Splitting time between San Diego and Oakland, who traded for him last July, Hairston hit .265/.307/.456 overall, with the better half of his season coming in San Diego (.299/.358/.533). Unfortunately for Hairston and the Padres, his second stint with the club hasn't been as successful. The 30-year-old battled a hamstring injury earlier in the season, and has hit just .215/.298/.353 in 329 plate appearances. Hairston's struggles can't be blamed on his pitcher-friendly home park either; he has an ugly .193/.283/.320 slash line on the road.

Hairston is earning $2.45MM this year and has seen the Padres' outfield get a little more crowded with the acquisition of Ryan Ludwick. Both players will enter their final season of arbitration eligibility in 2011, and Hairston's chances of being tendered a contract might depend in part on what the Padres do with Ludwick. Given Ludwick's larger 2010 salary ($5.45MM) and the fact that his production for the Padres (.239/.330/.368) hasn't been much better than Hairston's, it's conceivable that the team could decide to part ways with the former Cardinal.

Even with Ludwick out of the picture, however, Hairston would be lucky to be tendered a contract. The Padres may prefer to turn to a cheaper outfield option rather than spending $2.5MM+ to retain Hairston for another year. Click here to vote on the Padres' decision, and click here to view the results.

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