Jerry Hairston Jr. Rumors
The latest buzz from the NL Central...
- The Brewers have discussed Clint Barmes, Coco Crisp and Jerry Hairston Jr., according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Ramon Hernandez of the Reds is "not on the block," according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- "We're still exploring both [starters and relievers]," said Cardinals GM John Mozeliak to MLB.com's Matthew Leach. "But when it comes down to it, I think the reliever market’s got more opportunities." Mozeliak also indicated that the team could conceivably add payroll both this year and next in a trade.
- An AL executive told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that while the Astros asked for a big return for lefty Wandy Rodriguez a few weeks back, they now "will take little at deadline to get rid of most of his contract" (Twitter link). Rodriguez has about $38MM left on his contract if he exercises his 2014 player option. He's a bit overpaid, but presents a nice opportunity for a team to add a solid starter without giving up top prospects.
- The Reds are not close on any deals, GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). While Jocketty would not reveal his list of untouchable prospects, he laughed when Fay mentioned catcher Devin Mesoraco. Earlier today we learned that the Rockies asked for Mesoraco and Aroldis Chapman in an Ubaldo Jimenez trade. Jocketty seems disinclined to trade prospects for rentals.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin seeks a left-handed reliever, but told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the market "isn't very strong." It's a similar story with the Brewers' other main needs, shortstop and third base.
Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and Derrek Lee aren’t the only former CAA clients agent Casey Close will continue to represent now that he’s at Excel Sports Management. Close told MLBTR that he still represents Tyler Clippard, Michael Cuddyer, Alex Gordon, Jerry Hairston Jr., Scott Hairston, Casey Kotchman, Ben Sheets, Marcus Thames and Jamey Wright.
The Nationals announced that they have officially signed Jerry Hairston Jr. to a one-year contract with a $2MM base salary. Hairston, a CAA client, can earn another $1MM in incentives.
Hairston hit .244/.299/.353 in 476 plate appearances for the Padres last year, playing all over the diamond, as usual. The 34-year-old appeared at short, second, third and in both corner outfield positions in 2010. Hairston hasn't shown much of a platoon split throughout his career; the right-handed batter has an OPS of about .700 against right-handers and left-handers.
The Nationals have been in the midst of a back-and-forth with the Mets this week. First, the Mets signed longtime Nats utlity player Willie Harris. Then the Nats signed former Mets utility player Alex Cora. We heard yesterday that the Mets are likely to sign Scott Hairston and the Nats responded by agreeing to terms with his brother today.
This post was originally published on January 19th, 2011.
The Situation and The Bachelor might soon be joined by The Freak and The Panda in the reality TV world. MLB Productions and Showtime plan to air an all-access reality series about the Giants next summer, though Matt Cain says the deal hasn't been completely finalized yet.
As we ponder the concept of learning way more than we ever wanted to know about Aubrey Huff's rally thong, here are some other items from the western divisions...
- The Rangers offered Jim Thome a more lucrative contract than his $3MM deal with Minnesota, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports Thome preferred the Twins due to their closer proximity to his family's home in Chicago. Thome called his choice "difficult" and praised the Texas organization.
- Fox has advanced Frank McCourt money from the Dodgers' current TV contract so the club can cover operating expenses, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Shaikin speaks to former Athletics executive Andy Dolich, who says such a move is "a bit odd," particularly during the offseason. Another Shaikin source, USC Sports Business Institute Director Bill Carter, says the payment doesn't help the existing perception that McCourt doesn't have the finances to run the club.
- Shaikin also reports that a Los Angeles judge has finalized his earlier ruling, throwing out a martial property agreement between Frank and Jamie McCourt that would have made Frank the Dodgers' sole owner. Jamie McCourt is arguing that this ruling gives her co-ownership of the team, while Frank McCourt and his legal team are expected to pursue a new trial.
- The Padres "have essentially moved on from" Jerry Hairston Jr., says MLB.com's Corey Brock as part of a San Diego-related reader mailbag. The Yankees and Dodgers were connected to Hairston earlier this winter, but the Nationals have shown the most recent interest.
- The Angels are still looking for a leadoff man, but Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes that the Halos only need such a player for the short-term, given top prospect Mike Trout's ability to play at the top of the order.
- ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett catches up with right-hander Eric Hurley, who is healthy and looking to make the Texas roster in the spring. Hurley, the Rangers' first-round pick in the 2004 draft, was ranked by Baseball America as the 68th best prospect in baseball before the 2007 season, but hasn't pitched outside of the Arizona Fall League over the last two years due to injuries.
With utility player Willie Harris seemingly out of the fold, the Nationals are now considering Jerry Hairston Jr. according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. He adds that Washington had interest in David Eckstein earlier this offseason, but the two sides haven't talked in weeks.
Hairston, 34, hit just .244/.299/.353 in 476 plate appearances for the Padres last season, though he had hit .281/.343/.432 in the two prior seasons. He missed the end of the season because of a fractured tibia, and he also battled elbow issues in 2010. Hairston provides tremendous versatility, with a ton of experience at every position other than pitcher, catcher, and first base.
At this time last season, the Dodgers were ready to start the season with a future Hall of Famer roaming left field. Now they're still trying to find someone for the job after Scott Podsednik declined his half of a mutual option. They had some interest in Bill Hall, but he decided to sign with the Astros. The Dodgers have now turned their attention to three other left field candidates according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, making contact with Marcus Thames and the brothers Hairston: Scott and Jerry Jr.
Thames, 34 in March, hit .288/.350/.491 in 237 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2010, his best offensive season since 2006. He's a disaster defensively, with a -27.4 UZR/150 in left over the last three seasons. Jerry, the older of the two brothers, played primarily shortstop for the Padres last year, hitting .244/.299/.353 in 476 plate appearances. He dealt with a stress fracture in his tibia at the end of the season. His brother hit .210/.295/.346 in 336 plate appearances for San Diego while battling hamstring issues.
Both Thames and Scott excel at punishing left-handers, with .264/.333/.505 and .278/.331/.498 career batting lines against southpaws, respectively. That would be useful in a division that features lefties Barry Zito, Jonathan Sanchez, Joe Saunders, and Clayton Richard, among others.
So far this offseason, the Padres have swapped Adrian Gonzalez for prospects, signed Aaron Harang, agreed to a deal with Dustin Moseley, traded for Cameron Maybin and discussed a trade that would send Jason Bartlett to San Diego. Jed Hoyer's second offseason as GM has been a busy one and more moves are on the horizon for the Friars. Here's the latest:
- Jerry Hairston Jr. told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that four to five teams are pursuing him and the chase is "heating up" (Twitter link). Hayes reports that the Padres still have interest in Hairston and we know the Yankees would consider bringing the utilityman back to the Bronx.
- David Eckstein told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he has not been in contact with the Padres (Twitter link). Brock suggests it's an "extreme long shot" that Eckstein returns.
The Yankees appear to have inquired on Jerry Hairston Jr., according to Marc Carig of the Star Ledger (on Twitter). The 34-year-old played second, third, short and all three outfield positions with the 2009 World Series Champion Yankees.
Last year, Hairston batted .244/.299/.353 in 476 plate appearances as a utility infielder and occasional outfielder for the Padres. He reached double digits in home runs for the second time in his career, matching his homer total from 2009 (10).
Hairston has at least one other suitor; there's mutual interest with San Diego. The 13-year-veteran has played for four clubs other than the Yankees and Padres.
A few Mets notes...
- The Mets are one of six to eight teams with some interest in D.J. Carrasco, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter).
- The Mets are more serious about Young than Francis, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter).
- The Mets will listen on David Wright, Jose Reyes and Beltran, an official of a rival team tells ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). However, a team official tells Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork that it's highly unlikely that the Mets move one of those three players (Twitter link).
- "There is definitely big interest out there" for Carlos Beltran, tweets Newsday's David Lennon. Lennon feels that a healthy Beltran could fetch a nice haul in July.
- The Mets met with Jeff Francis' agents at Frontline, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. As you know, the Mets are also looking at Chris Young. But SI's Jon Heyman tweets that they appear to find Brandon Webb too risky.
- Keep Jerry Hairston Jr. in mind as a possibility for the Mets, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.