Though they’ve acquired both Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler in recent weeks, the Yankees’ search for a right-handed hitting outfielder marches on. The top spot on their wish list remains former Met Scott Hairston, and via ESPN New York, it appears that a decision on where he will be signing could be coming from Hairston this week. According to Wallace Matthews, Hairston’s agent, Casey Close, said the outfielder is likely to make a decision in a “matter of days.”
Hairston is pretty much a straight platoon hitter with a career .825 OPS against lefties, but he does bring a bit of versatility in the outfield to the table, anyway. He had a career year for the Mets in 2012 and attempted to parlay that into a multi-year contract this winter, but given how long he’s lingered on the market I assume he hasn’t found anyone willing to make that sort of commitment to him, and may well find himself taking the best one year offer he can get. The Yankees and Mets have been the teams most often rumored to have serious interest in Hairston, but today Matthews’ colleague Andrew Marchand reports that the Yankees do not expect to sign him. The issue? A lack of plate appearances, apparently. Marchand relays that. with the Yankees, Hairston would be a “fourth outfielder,” but that seems a little bit odd given how doggedly the Yankees have supposedly been pursuing a right-handed hitting outfielder over the past few weeks. Presumably they’re looking for someone who can get regular playing time both in the outfield and as a DH against southpaws, something akin to the role Andruw Jones has played in the previous two seasons. If they’re merely looking for a backup outfielder, being concerned about what side they hit from is fairly bizarre, and they probably would have been best off just keeping Chris Dickerson.
Marchand also reports that, if the Yankees don’t sign Hairston, the team’s fourth outfielder will be determined by a Spring Training competition between Diaz and Canzler.