Yankees, Mets Battle for Free Agent Outfielder, Scott Hairston
Added by Gregg Snyder on January 8, 2013.
The Yankees and Mets are both pursuing free agent outfielder Scott Hairston. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
It’s not often the two New York baseball teams battle for the same free agent. The Yankees are typically after the big names, big money players while the Mets go for more of a role player type. However, this off-season, the Yankees have taken a different approach, one of cost saving and payroll reduction.
The team from the Bronx has resigned Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda. Those were the biggest signings. The Mets have signed third baseman David Wright to an extension but traded away Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. It would seem strange for these two clubs to be in a battle for one free agent piece. However, that does seem to be the case.
The Yankees are looking to add a fourth outfielder, a right handed outfielder to compliment their all lefty outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Ichiro. The Mets are still searching for inexpensive pieces to fill their roster, whether they be every day or spot players.
This is where Scott Hairston comes in.
Hairston hit .263 with 20 home runs for the Mets last season. Against left handed pitchers, his average jumped to .286. His ability to hit southpaws is why the Yankees are interested. In his career, Hairston has a .276 average against left handed pitchers.
It’s likely a matter of playing time for Hairston. His agent, Casey Close, told ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews that his client would likely make a decision in a matter of days.
Does he sign with the Yankees as a fourth outfielder with a good chance of making the playoffs, or re-sign with the Mets with a better chance to play every day.