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Mets sign Scott Hairston to a minor league contract

Jan 18, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

Scott Hairston, Angel Hernandez

Scott Hairston has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets, according to Ted Berg of SportsNet New York (and later confirmed by Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com).

Hairston managing only a minor-league deal is surprising, because while he’s been overmatched as an everyday player he’d be an excellent fit for any number of teams as a platoon starter versus left-handed pitching, against whom he’s hit .280 with 18 homers and an .839 OPS in 375 at-bats during the past three seasons despite calling pitcher-friendly ballparks home.

He’s also a solid defensive corner outfielder with experience in center field as well as second base, making him an ideal bench player. Very nice low-cost pickup for the Mets and a head-scratcher for the half-dozen other teams that could use a part-time lefty masher.

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