Mets Diamond Notes: Scott Hairston Claimed on Waivers, Terry Collins’ Job Safe

By Matt Musico

A day after the Mets placed Scott Hairston and Andres Torres on waivers, an unknown team has claimed Hairston, reported Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Hairston (.272/.312/.512) has been having a great season for New York, as he’s been receiving more consistent playing time given the team’s current outfield situation. He drew a bit of interest from competing teams before the non-waiver trade deadline, but he wasn’t dealt because Sandy Alderson’s asking price was too high.

Once Hairston hit the waiver wire Sunday morning, it was rumored that the Giants would be interested in his services, as they are in the hunt for a right-handed bat that can hit southpaws. The slugging outfielder has shown a propensity for doing that throughout his career, and that trend has continued in 2012, as he’s hit .320/.353/.605 with 9 homers and 27 RBI in 147 at-bats against left-handers this season. However, after Heyman broke the news, Ken Rosenthal jumped in and said that the claim put in on Hairston was a block from a rival team, preventing the pursuit of him.

The claiming team is still unknown, but if the Giants were planning on attempting to acquire Hairston, it is believed the Dodgers were going to make a claim and block San Francisco from making a move. So, because of this, it is unlikely we’re going to be seeing Hairston in a uniform other than one with the Mets. One has to wonder if Sandy plans on starting negotiations for a contract extension now that he has gone through waivers. Hairston said he is open to talking, and it’s probable that the 32-year-old bench player would be happy with something in the range of a two-year deal. He’s been one of the few bright spots for the Mets through the second half, and his performance with increased playing begs to ask the question as to whether he could be a fit with New York as a starter.

After receiving scheduled days off Friday and Saturday against the Astros over the weekend, Daniel Murphy left Sunday’s finale in the top of the ninth after he hurt his right shoulder during a swing in his last at-bat. The second baseman had an MRI yesterday, and the results were negative, as Murphy was cleared to play. The official diagnosis is tightness in his rotator cuff, and it is unknown how the Mets will go forward in the immediate future with Murphy’s playing time. So far in 2012, Murphy is hitting .283/.326/.396 with 33 doubles, 4 homers, and 53 RBI.

On the heels of a 13-29 second half showing, there are many fans (the same ones singing their praise for him getting his team off to a 46-40 start) that are wanting Terry Collins to get the axe in Queens. Well, that doesn’t look like it will be happening. According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, there is “no chance” the organization will put the blame for the team’s poor second half on Collins by firing him. The 2013 option in his contract was exercised by New York last September, and there are talks of a possible contract extension, but that will depend on how well the team finishes the season.

I’m glad the organization came out in support of Collins as manager; there have been plenty of times where it looked as though his team has quit on him with their Little League-style play, I don’t think they actually have. As the Mets continue their long journey towards being relevant again, I think Terry Collins should be the manager that heads the charge. We’ll see how much players like to play for him over this last month, as they now know the long-term job security of their skipper directly lays in their hands.