With a dearth of outfielders on the roster and spring training just about a month away, the Mets don't have any imminent deals on the table. The team reportedly isn't willing to meet Scott Hairston's asking price: two years, $8 million, according to Jon Heyman.
#mets balked at scott hairston's $8M/2-yr request. #yankees not involved. Saw hairston saturday and he seemed upbeat tho.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 15, 2013
Hairston joined the Mets in 2011 but played a very limited role on the team, hitting .235/.303/.470 with 7 home runs in 145 plate appearances. Last year, he saw significantly more playing time — 398 plate appearances, to be exact — and hit .263/.299/.504 with 20 home runs. He showed power against left- and right-handed pitching, but he hit for a higher average, got on base more often, and hit for more power against southpaws.
Hairston's fWAR has been positive — above replacement-level — every year since 2007, with a peak of 2.2 in 2008. And since then, he's accumulated at least 1.5 fWAR in four out of the five seasons in which he made at least 300 plate appearances.
While he's not without his flaws — see his on-base percentage — Hairston still figures to at least be a very good half of a platoon. With the Mets' current roster, he'll play more often than that, though, and the team doesn't have anyone else on the roster who's a guarantee, or even a moderately safe bet, to provide more value than he would.
The icing on the cake here is that Hairston's only entering his age-33 season this year. Unless the Mets are about to acquire another potential everyday outfielder for this year, let's hope they're just balking at Hairston's price in hopes of driving down the commitment of time or dollars to sign him.