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The Cubs have talked to Scott Hairston

The Cubs have talked to Scott Hairston

According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs have talked to OF Scott Hairston.  Hairston is a mixed bag, most notably posting just a .299 OBP, which is low even by Cubs recent standards.  What he can provide is some power from the RH side.  He hit 20 HRs, 25 doubles, and 3 triples last season.  All in all it translated to a .504 slugging percentage and a very good .241 ISO.

Defensively he's a competent corner outfielder who could play CF in a pinch, though he's played sporadically there since 2008/2009.

The level of interest and Hairston's role is unknown, but we do know the Cubs have an outfielder in David DeJesus who was well-below replacement level vs. LHP and a second OF'er, Nate Schierholtz, who has also expected to play mostly against RHP.  The Cubs do have Dave Sappelt, who continues to tear up winter ball (.336/.378/.526) who figures to help out vs. LHP from time to time but the Cubs may need a second platoon type player to balance out the lineup.  Hairston hits better vs. RHP (.286 vs. .239 last season, which are reasonably close to his career numbers), though he hits for power against both.

The other question that comes to mind is that Hairston could help replace some of the power should the Cubs trade Alfonso Soriano between now and the deadline.  There were talks earlier this offseason about him possibly going to the Phillies for Domonic Brown, but those talks appear to be dead right now.

Hairston put up a 2 WAR last season but was near replacement level in the two seasons prior.  He's a role player, and while he's a solid fit in some ways, he's less than a perfect one, in my opinion.  But the Cubs do have an OF spot up for grabs and the options from the outside are dwindling.  The perfect just may not be available.

Hairston reportedly asked for a 2 year/$8M contract from the Mets but was rebuffed.

 

 

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  • Like it, if the price is right.

  • Hope you are feeling a lot better these days, John!

  • In reply to ifandorbut:

    A little, thanks. Just can't shake it, though! I guess I feel well enough to type, which is a good start :)

    At a low cost he can help. Like I said, not a perfect fit, but I don't think there are perfect fits out there at this stage for the Cubs.

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    In reply to ifandorbut:

    Ditto.

  • Agreed.

  • Is that 2 years at $4M each or 2 years at $8M each? The former seems too low for Hairston and the latter seems to high.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    $4M/yr. Nice role player but he's not good enough to ask for $8M/yr with a straight face. Don't forget this guy was a replacement level player in 2010/2011. Even in his "breakout" year he still had a sub .300 OBP.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good...thanks. That was how I read Heyman's original Tweet, but I also saw it reported as him looking for $8M a year and wanted to make sure. $4M a year seems really reasonable to me.

    He’d make a nice 4th OF if he were OK with that role. Hits lefties well and has some pop. Not great on D, but he can play all three OF spots (CF is a little iffy). I can get on board with it at that price.

  • In reply to North Side Irish:

    I'd be on board with it too at that price - though even that might be too high for a part time guy. But he does provide some insurance if they trade Soriano.

  • Welcome back John! I was expecting to see you on the Walking Dead.

    I'm not sure if he'd be worth taking someone from the 40 man. I'd rather see if there might be someone from the winter leagues who tore it up and stash them at AAA.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Haha! Thanks. I still feel like the Walking Dead.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Be good to yourself. I'm trying to be. Mine turned out not to be the flu at all... but shingles. :\

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Oooh. I've heard that's painful.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Only when I move. I've probably left a permanent imprint of myself on the couch from the last week.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    My couch too :)

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Any friends of Carne should stay away from his house bathroom if you were planning to put your butt on Carne's toilet seat!

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Luckily, you can't catch anything from someone with shingles other than chickenpox if you haven't had them. Which is good because I make all my friends touch their butt to my toilet seat upon entering my domicile, in a Japanese take-your-shoes-off-at-the-door kind of way.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Shingles-its most infamous recipient was Admiral William "bull" Halsey of WW2 fame. Shingles kept Halsey out of command during the battle of Midway.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Which is ironic because part of the way I've been killing time on the couch is rewatching my favorite WWII documentary "World at War."

  • He's relatively cheap, but I don't like him even at that price. OBP and defense would be a detriment. I wouldn't be surprised if this was just an attempt to put some pressure on Bourn, the Phillies, or someone else we don't know about.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Not thrilled with Hairston but I'd still rather sign him than Bourn, mostly because of the draft pick.

    Just read an article on how much defense begins to slip in age 30-39 years. Just another reason for me not to want Bourn. If he's not giving you elite defense, than he's just an average guy.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/michael-bourns-questionable-future-defensive-value/

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll have to give it a read. For me it's all dependent on how low his price drops and if we can get value for him and the lost pick. I get the reluctance on the draft pick though. Not as many avenues available to pick up amateur talent anymore. Precious commodity.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Michael Bourne=Juan Pierre waiting to happen.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I like the article, but using average for defense pre and post 30 is probably not the right statistic. At the least, they should post a graph. It's not clear (and their sample set doesn't lend itself to answering the question since it's small and most players haven't played much in their 30's yet) whether you're looking at a consistent smooth drop off or plus defensive years happening more rarely with some mediocre years in between. That would be a big factor in assessing value. Really it's all about the odds of Bourn maintaining speed and defensive skill at age 30, 31 and so on. Harder to predict. However, I don't think the Cubs should sign him at any price because of the compensation.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    "If he's not giving you elite defense, than he's just an average guy."

    I don't agree with this. According to fangraphs, in 2011 he had -6.4 fielding runs and still put up a 4.1 WAR. And fangraphs predicts his 2013 fielding component to drop 10 runs from 2012 and still projects him as a 4.4 WAR player. I think he needs to be an elite defender to be a 6.4 WAR player like last year, but even if his fielding noticeably drops over the next 3 or 4 years, I see him continuing to be a 3 or 4 WAR player. P.S. Dave Cameron - I also see Feldman in the bullpen. (Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

  • Welcome back! I was starting to go through withdrawal. But don't push it, we need you for the long haul.

    I hope I am wrong but I just do not have much enthusiasm for Sappelt.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    Thanks Hubbs, I will take it easy but will try to get out at least one piece a day.

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    In reply to Hubbs16:

    I remember John calling him a faster, cost-controlled Reed Johnson. I guess you don't need to get too excited about that, but he seems like a good piece of the puzzle.

    The Cubs need power, so I hope they can sign Scott Hairston or Willy Mo Pena or somebody.

  • In reply to Mike Mayberry:

    That's what you really hope out of Sappelt. He can hit and he can run a bit -- and he fields the corners well, but probably isn't an everyday player at this point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Niether is he truly a CF either, John. Hes best suited for LF, but doesn't offer much power. If we don't get Hairston, Id guess the 5th OF job is Sappelts to lose. Id like to see us do better.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Why isn't Sappelt viewed as an everyday player? His minor league stats are virtually the same as BJax as are their very limited MLB stats. He seems to have similar tools and the only difference is that BJax is LH and Sappelt is RH. I really think that he could be way more valuable than many people are thinking. Am I off on this and, if so, why?

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    I don't know Hairston. When I see that OBP, I want to throw up. He just doesn't feel like someone who fits the plan.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Don't say "throw up"...or John will be gone again for three more days.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    LOL!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    The power' was good and the defese is passable, though. Getting harder to find guys who fit perfectly.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I know! I know! And if you'd said bench player on a championship club, I could've bought into that, but I'm being serious. I'd just eaten pasta with marinara sauce and chopped Italian sausages when I read your piece. That OBP just about made me turn it back up. My wife even asked why I was turning green and if I was okay.

    BTW, I just sent you an email on the Cafardo interview. That's interesting stuff about Garza.

  • Before anymore players come on the radar, Theo needs to get rid one player to put Carlos Villanueva on the roster.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Is Coleman still on the 40 man?

  • In reply to cbbiefun2014:

    No.

  • In reply to cbbiefun2014:

    No, he's been off for a while.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sorry meant Campana.

  • In reply to cbbiefun2014:

    Yes, he is.

  • Not interested. Give it to some Iowa wannabe over some warmed over retread.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    This my feeling, too, but then I'm not too interested in the Cubs being competitive this year and would like to see more kids who have proven themselves at AAA be given major league at bats to further their development and prepare them to succeed in 2014.

    I agree with John that Hairston's power becomes attractive if the Cubs trade Soriano, but otherwise I don't see a fit here.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the 40 man roster at capacity? Why should we bump anyone and risk losing him to accommodate a low quality fourth outfielder for what is sure to be a bad team?

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Low quality and expecting to make 8 times the league minimum*.

  • In reply to Eddie:

    It is at capacity and the Cubs have yet to add Carlos Villanueva. I assume the Cubs are working on a trade to open a spot, but a move one way or another will have to happen soon.

    My guess is if they saw fit to sign Hairston, Campana would be dropped off the 40-man.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    If the Cubs were to trade Soriano and Marmol and a third player to the Phillies for Brown and someone else, that would solve that roster problem of adding Hairston & Newhouse.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Who is Newhouse?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Could be an old rumor too. It says they've talked to Hairston, but I'm willing to bet the Cubs have talked to a lot of people. If it were up to me, I'd like a guy who can play a solid CF.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Is a Coco Crisp deal still floating around, or is it soggy and sunken?

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    Would do 2 years for 5.5 not 8.. Maybe I'd go 6 but idk.. Also are you guys ready for the convention?

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Not this year for me.

  • BTW get well soon, John.
    (I'm a bandwagon jumper.)

  • In reply to Eddie:

    Thanks. I just hope there's not a "don't get well soon" bandwagon :)

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    if all he is is insurance for a soriano trade, can't BJax fill that bill? Jackson can match the low OBP, and give you the 20 HR's, and much better defense. So it boils down to paying 4 mil/year for a better batting average. Say Jackson bats .180, Hairston .260, but Jax gives you better defense (hard to compare LHP-RHP splits because of Jackson's very small sampe size). Is the difference between the two then worth 4 mil/yr? I say not, unless someone thinks Hairston can be (all together now, lemme hear ya) - "flipped at the deadline for prospects!"

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Good point. I'd have to see Jackson hit better than .180 though. .230 with a 10% walk rate and good power works for me for this year.

  • Is NIjer Morgan still unsigned, I would much prefer him over either Bourne and Hairston.

  • A little off topic but the tigers, blue jays, marlins, mets, rays and mariners are all looking for bullpen help. we need a 40man spot for villanueva and with soriano being signed by the nationals, i think this would be a great opportunity to shop him as an 8th inning guy/closer insurance to another team.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Shop Villanueva? If someone is looking for an 8th inning/closer insurance then the Cubs would be looking to trade Marmol. I don't think you could trade Villanueva even if you wanted to until he was put on the 40-man and even then you'd have to wait until after June 15th, wouldn't you?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    when i said shop him i meant marmol, i thought i had previously stated his name but i guess i didnt

  • 4 mil. a season would be good value for Hairston I think.
    For some strange reason I have been following Dave Sappelt on Twitter while he has been playing down in Venezuela. Super funny guy and very nice to the fans. He is always complaining in a joking way about the long rain delays they have there. Asked him if he had faced Rondon, who the Cubs took in the rule 5 draft down in the winter league. He joked that he owned him, he was one for one. But he said Rondon throws big time heat.

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    John, check your email. You may want to write a piece on the Cafardo interview. It's certainly worth discussing, especially in the context of how he said it.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Why don't you fill us in? What did he say?

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    The story can be found at MLBTR.

  • Hairston is not a long-term answer to any Cubs question, but he does make some sense in the short term for two reasons: he's a right-handed hitting outfielder and a right-handed hitting third baseman. The Cubs need both.

    I especially like him as a third base option. The Cubs need help there in the worst way. After what I saw of Vitters arm last year I doubt he'll ever be a regular major league third baseman.

  • Hairston is OK, provided he comes at the right price, and please don't play him against righties. Hes largely a platoon player, albeit with excellent power numbers against lefties.

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