January 12, 2011

Give me Hairston. Either Hairston!

The Yankees are pursuing Andruw Jones. Yes, the 33-year-old longtime Braves outfielder who has not played a full season since 2007 or hit above .250 since 2006. But apparently his glove is still tempting, since the Yankees are looking for a backup outfielder NOT a backup DH.

Jorge Posada IS the DH, according to the Yankees.

I don’t think the Yankees should bother with Jones. His glove may still be gold, but who knows? He’s not healthy enough these days to judge that. The free agent outfield market is very thin, but here are the top alternatives:

Johnny Damon:
The “idiot” wouldn’t mind returning to the Bronx despite the Boras contract fiasco last offseason. I wouldn’t mind him either, just as long as he understands his role as a DH/pinch-hitter. I doubt this will happen.

Marcus Thames:
He crushes lefties, but will hurt your eyes when watching him field. Last season he had a lot of clutch hits, reminded me a bit of Ruben Sierra, but the majority of his ABs came as a DH. With Posada taking over, unfortunately Thames is no longer a fit in pinstripes. Ditch him, or take him and likely overpay in a trade for a legitimate backup outfielder if a starter goes down.

Jerry Hairston Jr.:
He’s been with the Yankees before, and I was sad to see him leave. Hairston’s versatility makes him intriguing, not his numbers. He has substantial experience everywhere except catcher and first. Still, he posts respectable numbers — BETTER than Jones’. He can bunt, he can steal. I like the guy and would love to see him return.

Scott Hairston:
Hairston posted similar, but slightly worse numbers than his older brother for the Padres last year. However, he has more recent experience in the outfield, which is what the Yankees really need with either Ramiro Pena or Eduardo Nunez likely to win the backup infielder job. I wouldn’t mind seeing another Hairston sign with the Yankees.

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