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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