Yanks, Hairston in ‘serious talks’

The free-swingin' Brett Gardner
Open Thread: Ravens at Patroits

On Friday evening, Mike reported that the Yankees were interested in bringing back Jerry Hairston, Jr. for at least the 2010 season. Late last night, ESPN analyst and former outfielder Chris Singleton reported that the two sides were in “serious talks.” He noted that Hairston would provide an offense-minded backup for A-Rod and Derek Jeter while serving as an outfielder as well. The Yanks have expressed “strong interest” in Hairston, and the two sides will probably reach a deal soon. The Padres remain interested, but the Yanks are definitely the frontrunners right now. (Hat tip MLBTR)

The free-swingin' Brett Gardner
Open Thread: Ravens at Patroits
  • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

    Hairston + platoon partner, and call it an off-season.

    • Charlie

      i’m not so sure that they wouldn’t just stop at hairston at this point. which would kinda suck

      • Stryker

        what makes you say that? they’re obviously making moves this off season with a payroll limit in mind. if the yanks only have a few million to play with, why would they continue to spend spend spend?

        i think hairston is a nice fit if they’re looking to improve the bench and flexibility.

        • Charlie

          i’m just not too comfortable with the gardner/hoffmann in LF plan, and hairston as the back up doesn’t exactly sound great. i would rather have reed johnson or nady

          • jp

            i dont think reed johnson is much, if at all, better than hairston especially when you consider hairston was here in the same role last year and can play so many positions. i know the culture shock of ny prob isnt so great on backup players but there has to be a comfort level and he was on the championship team so he knows what to expect already.

          • SM

            why would you rather Reed Johnson or Nady over Gardner? Do you think they are better defenders? (No) Better offense? (Push with Nad, less power with Gard but probably higher OBP and better base running plus injury risk, No for Reed) better total package? (No)

            Or because they are FA and cost more money so they must be better?


            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              At his ultimate peak, Nady’s a far better offensive player than Gardner. His 2008 numbers, despite a late-season slide in the Bronx, are very solid, and that line with a OPS+ over 120 is better than anything Gardner will do. That said, he’s also 31 and coming off of a second Tommy John Surgery.

              • SM

                At his ultimate peak, sure . More power, sure. I think you giving way to much weight on half a season facing for pitching posting an unstastainable babip.
                2006-2007 Nady was pretty close to avg hitter in the NL with a obp of about 335.
                Now we also need to take into account speed factor.
                OPS is something that underestimates Garners value on offense because it accounts to highly of Power (where Gardner is weak) and it does not include baserunning.
                Using power/speed number or wRC+ Gardner compares.

                • jesse guerrero

                  Are you guys kidding, Gardner is a 4th outfielder at best, and only in the late innings when he doesn’t have to hit! He better learn how to bunt quickly, or the next time you see him is at Trenton, not even AAA. AT least with Hairston, we know what we’re going to get, plus he plays other positions. If they want to get another low budget player, that’s fine too, but the Gardner platoon is out!

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Brett Gardner is a career .280 hitter at AAA with a .391 OBP. Your argument=fail.

              • FonzoG28

                with the fire power this team has, we don’t need a injury prone player on the roster, all we’re doing is tweaking the offense remember.

            • Charlie

              nady and reed johnson, especially nady, are much better offensive players than gardner. and no, i obviously don’t think the fact that they cost more makes them better. plus with rj, he wouldn’t be starting everyday, he’d be platooned with gardner

              • SM

                What do you think makes them better? Higher career years over their longer careers? I can say confidently that Gardner has best speed/baserunning ability. He will probably post the highest OBP of all three. Nady has more power but I would be wary of that skill in light of TJS and his weakness in other areas, namely OBP, gives me worry.

    • Steve B.

      Yes, Hairston and Reed Johnson…and we’re done.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)


        • crawdaddie

          Yes, Agreed.

  • jp

    i like the move. right now the lineup is 8 strong with the unknown being gardner who at worst still has great speed and defense in the 9 spot. and now if they keep hairston he provides decent speed, decent defense, and you know he wont make a fool out of himself with the bat. great backup/ utility guy for multiple positions, especially doubling as a RH bat in LF. ive never seen a team go the whole season with no injuries so he will be useful.

  • Steve H

    Should have let Mike do this post, so he could have hat-tipped himself.

    It’s good news, and while I hope the Yankees don’t need a caddy for Gritner, I think Hairston could make do until the deadline. If Gritner truly can’t start for this team, I think they’ll have to upgrade the LF position in July, but signing Hairston now quells the immediate need for Reed Johnson, etc., though I hope (and expect) that a Hairston signing wouldn’t take that off the table.

    • Stryker

      to quasi-contradict my statement above, i think bringing guys in on limited commitment deals on the cheap is all they can do at this point. obviously we don’t know how strapped they really are, but the only way i can see them spending in addition to hairston would be a reed johnson type.

      • FonzoG28


        I see your point, but I think all these move are tailored for a Damon return on they term. So having said that, we are talking about the # 9 hitter, so if we can’t have a number 9 hitter to hit 270-280 we cannot repeat.

        I’ll take my chance with speedy Greedy

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I’ll be very happy if the Yanks can bring Hairston back as the utility-guy. He’s really perfect for that role, and as much as I don’t think personality-type stuff matters much, there’s really nothing wrong with having guys in the clubhouse who are well-regarded around baseball and considered good people. I really think he would improve the bench of any team in MLB, he’s a really nice piece to have on a roster.

  • alex lopez

    thats a really intelligent move by cashman!!!! yanks need a flexible bench!!!

  • http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/19/MAD_MAX.jpg gxpanos

    As long as he doesnt play when Andy pitches.

    /Still mad.

    • JGS

      Juan Uribe feels worse

    • Muel

      i may be remembering incorrectly, but didn’t he also make a really nice play earlier in the game to preserve the no-no?

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Yep, on a slow roller (may have been a bunt, not sure).

        Still, you gotta make the play. I’m over it, but there are no excuses.

  • steve s

    If he brought his brother Scott along via a trade that would be a very nice way to finish off the off-season!

    • Steve H

      Of course it’s another Steve who has to agree with me completely.

    • MDR

      yeah Scott in left would be a nice pick-up and of course we want Jerry Jr. back

  • yankswin27

    Derek Jeter SS
    Curtis Granderson CF
    Mark Teixeira 1B
    Alex Rodriguez 3B
    Nick Johnson DH
    Jorge Posada C
    Robinson Cano 2B
    Nick Swisher RF
    Brett Gardner LF

    Reed Johnson OF
    Jerry Hairston UTIL
    Francisco Cervelli C
    Ramiro Pena INF/Jamie Hoffmann OF

    Now THAT’s a lot better than going with a Gardner/Hoffmann platoon.

    • OldYanksFan

      Err…. swap Grandy and Nick above.

      • JJB

        HITTING 2ND-

        • Tedshred

          Agreed. I think they’re waiting Damon out and will get him at a decent price. $16M/2 years? Or one year with incentives for two?

      • yankswin27

        I like having speed guys atop the lineup. Plu,s with Grandy hitting behind Jeter and in front of Tex, he’s gonna do a lot better than he did last year. Curtis Granderson never received protection like THAT in Detroit.

    • jesse guerrero

      Gardner is not the left fielder, I’d start Reed/Hairston before Gardner! Only in the late innings!

  • gary knickerbacker

    Jerry Hairston would be a great fit as a platoon player in left field with Gardner.He’s a good fielder and better than average hitter.The yankees don’t have to have 25 all star players to contend.They have excellent pitching and defence.He also plays multiple positions and would be a valuable commodity on any team.It would be great to see him come back to N.Y.

  • wally

    Give the kid a chance, Gardner may have what it takes. Remember they said this about Mo, Andy & Posada. When they were young too.And look what they did.

  • elmgrovegnome

    I think Hairston is great for the bench. Signing him would be a good thing. The Yanks reserves are very weak offensively.

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  • marcia C. Maytner

    Hairston to replace Damon??? Terrible move.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      No one is saying Hairston will replace Damon. He’s a bench/utility/role guy. Jeez.

    • jesse guerrero

      Remember it’s not Hairston replacing Damon, which by the way is a liability in the outfield, it’s Nick Johnson in the 2 hole.

  • ben

    Jerry for UP, Damon (at 6-7 million, 1 year deal) and then a incentive laden deal offered to Wang take it or leave it….Sad thing is Hoffman might have been a wasted deal – watch us need an arm like Bruney at some point.

  • joe


    • jesse guerrero

      It was probably when you saw Gardner starting in LF and batting 9th. It should be Reed/Hairston/even Hoffman!

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