MLB Trade Rumors: Scott Hairston Drawing Interest

By Matt Musico

According to Assistant GM Jon Ricco, the Mets are still planning on trying to make some “minor moves” to improve the bullpen and possibly add another right-handed bat. Also, Sandy Alderson has said as recent as a few days ago that the team would listen to potential suitors about Tim Byrdak and Scott Hairston, but only if they get players back that can contribute next season and beyond. Well, looks like teams are starting to line up for Scott Hairston.

It’s not surprising that the Mets outfielder is drawing interest from multiple teams, as he’s a right handed hitter with power that can come off the bench, and is only making $1.1 million in 2012. In 220 at-bats this season, he’s hit 12 home runs and has 39 RBI, as he’s put together a .259/.300/.514 line. What is attracting most teams to Hairston is his ability to hit left handers. This season, he’s hitting .308/.341/.617 against southpaws, which includes 9 of his 12 long balls and 24 of his 39 RBI.

Reports have surfaced that not only the Tigers, but also the Braves and Giants have inquired about Hairston to the Mets. However, sources close to these talks have all said that they would be surprised if anything materializes. As Aaron Leibowitz said earlier this week, this is the right time to trade Hairston away. Playoff contenders want him, and since he will be a free agent after this season (and likely commanding a little more than the $1.1 million he signed for last winter), Sandy should shop him around more.

Although he’s left-handed, the imminent return of Mike Baxter to the Mets on Monday could make swinging a deal for Hairston a little easier, but it doesn’t seem likely. Personally, I’d like to see Alderson make a deal with the Tigers because they seem to be one team that is willing to be aggressive in making a deal for what they need. The Giants have a shorthanded bullpen as it is without Brian Wilson at the back end of it, and I’m not a fan of trading Hairston to a division rival in the Braves, unless they offer exactly what Sandy is looking for.

Although we’ve heard the front office state their latest intentions for the upcoming trade deadline, it doesn’t seem like anything will get done. They don’t have much leverage in these talks for Hairston, as they are trying to acquire MLB ready talent that is under team control for a bench player that is on a two-month rental. The same goes for Tim Byrdak, who is in the final year of his contract as well.

It seems as though Alderson may be close minded when it comes to exploring trade options for both Hairston and Byrdak, as Adam Rubin of ESPN also reported that he doesn’t anticipate any deals being done before the trade deadline Tuesday. There is still plenty of time for something to move along quickly, but it looks as though the Mets are more stingy about these two players specifically than they are letting on to the public.