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The Mets “balked” at Scott Hairston’s contract demands

Jan 15, 2013, 5:08 PM EDT

Scott Hairston

Not that they were exorbitant demands. Heyman says that Scott Hariston asked the Mets for two years and $8 million.

That’s a considerable raise for Hairston who has never made more than $2.45 million in a year, and only made $1.1 million a year the past two seasons with the Mets. He’s never had a multi-year deal.

Hairston hit .263/.299/.504 with 20 homers and 57 RBI in 377 at-bats with the Mets last year. If he were to return to the Mets, he’d likely be an everyday outfielder. Not sure that that isn’t worth $4 million.

But then again, I’m not sure that it’s wise to make Scott Hairston an everyday outfielder. Though if anyone should, it’s the Mets.

  1. thebadguyswon - Jan 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    The man can’t hit righthanders. The team is punting anyway. What exactly is difficult to understand?

  2. stlsportsfan84 - Jan 15, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Still wish the Cards had gotten this guy instead of Wigginton for the 3M difference.

    That being said makes sense for the Mets to pass here unless they think they can flip him, which seems difficult to gauge for a guy on the wrong side of a platoon on playoff teams.

  3. itsthemelman82 - Jan 15, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    8 mil Scott? Really??? Like Hairston but you can’t get 8 mil to be part of this less than talented OF.

  4. genericcommenter - Jan 15, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    .299? I have been told here repeatedly that is a “guy who gets on base” and should be leading off.

  5. snowbirdgothic - Jan 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I’ve seen the Mets’ pitchers. The balking has nothing to do with Hairston.

  6. kappy32 - Jan 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Scott Hairston is NOT an everyday outfielder & the Mets are in dire need for one given that their best outfielder right now is Lucas Duda – who is absolute GARBAGE. Hairston is a good 4th OF who should get spot starts against LH pitchers. Hairston can kill lefties, but he doesn’t have the overall game to be out there everyday. His defense is average, at best, and he has a real hard time making contact against RH pitching. There’s also the fact that he is getting up there in age; he’ll be 33 in May & there is really no sense in spending $8 million on a 33-34 4th OF on a team that has 5 4th outfielders. This tells me one of two things:
    (1) The Mets are thinking the same thing I am & are not interested in adding to their crop of 4th outfielders. They have 3 other 4th outfielders – Duda, Nieuwenhuis, and Baxter – all of whom are under team control for at least the next 2 years & are a lot more affordable than Hairston; OR

    (2) As you wrote last week, Hairston is their “fall back option” and as John Heyman wrote, they’re serious players for Upton. Being that it will be almost impossible for Upton to play in Arizona after already being traded – until he vetoed it – the Mets may just be waiting until the price on prospects drops to a level they’re comfortable with. Hopefully they’re either in on Upton or Morse & they will only adhere to Hairston’s demands of they are forced to go with him.

    As a big Mets fan, I am hoping the scenario being played out is #2. As it stands right now, the 2013 Mets are going to be a retread of the 2012 team that almost lost 90 games. They need an everyday OF & frankly, I feel they should pay the price for Upton before another team swoops in & grabs him up. While the Mets have some solid, albeit unknown, MLB-ready pitching prospects in Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, and to a further extent, Jon Niese, they have pretty much no quality position player prospects that project to produce at the MLB level aside from Wilmer Flores (ETA 2014) & Travis d’Arnaud (ETA May 2013). They especially don’t have any OF prospects in the organization, with the closest being Brandon Nimmo (ETA 2016) & non-prospect Matt Den Dekker (ETA 2014). Duda, Baxter, & Nieuwenhuis, their projected Opening Day OF, were never considered prospects by even the most liberal definition of the word & are better suited to be 4th outfielders and/or pinch hitters. Under the “Alderson Plan” the Mets are supposed to contend in 2013-2014. With the young pitching, the addition of d’Arnaud, and the existence of Wright & Davis, a player like Upton – who is 24 years old, a top-5 MVP finish under his belt, and under team control with a reasonable contract through 2015 – is the type of player that could put them over the top, so long as the trade doesn’t cost them core pieces (Wheeler, Harvey, Davis, d’Arnaud). If the Mets can formulate a deal for Upton around Niese, Flores & a few other pieces, they should pull the trigger IMMEDIATELY. Many Mets fans have balked at the idea of Niese being involved for Upton. That is nuts! Niese isn’t an ace, he’s a #3 starter at best & a similar replacement can be found. On the other hand, a 24 year old, 5-tool OF who is on a similar career path as Matt Kemp cannot be found easily. It comes down to dearth & surplus. The Mets have a dearth of OF talent but have a surplus of MLB-ready pitching talent. If the math works and the prospect price drops – which it would have to, significantly, for the D-Backs to take a deal revolving Niese & Flores – the trade should be made. Without it, the Mets will be repeating the same actions of 2012 in 2013, hoping for a different outcome – THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY!!!

    • mazblast - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      That was a well-written, well-thought out analysis, kappy. We don’t expect that from a Mets fan.

      The only problem with your “two things” is that they assume the Mets top brass have a plan or even a clue.

      • kappy32 - Jan 16, 2013 at 1:59 AM

        I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t like the current Mets front office as much as I liked the Omar Minaya / John Ricco tandem. I don’t like the idea of a big market franchise emulating a small market club like the Rays – a team that hasn’t been so great that they could be seen as a model franchise. Omar & Ricco swung & missed more times than they hit it, but at least they tried. For a period of time, with the Pedro & Beltran signings, they made the Mets relevant again. They tried their darnedest to put a competitive product out on the field. The completely screwed the pooch with the Luis Castillo & the infamous Ollie Perez “3-for36″ signings. However, is that any worse than allowing one of the cornerstone players of your franchise, Jose Reyes, leave via free agency to a division rival without so much as making an offer to him? There’s a difference between making conservative, smart financial decisions & just making cheap, penny pinching decisions & right now I don’t know where the Mets stand with Alderson & Co. I like that Sandy was able to get Zach Wheeler for a Beltran rental & I think trading RA Dickey was a great move, especially being that they got the premier catching prospect in baseball in return. I like how the Mets are finally valuing draft picks & are rebuilding their farm system with solid talent, led by hard throwing, tall pitching prospects. With that being said, I sure as hell hope that they are going to do the right thing with these “prospects.” The good teams in baseball today, with the parity in MLB, are the ones who have good, promising young players surrounded by a stable of solid, proven, veteran, everyday major league players. The solid teams are not the ones who sit back & hope that their prospects develop the way they want them to & reach their utmost potential. In a market like NY, it is unconscionable to field a team of all prospects without a handful of highly paid, proven, good ML players. So, to be honest with you, I don’t know if their brass has a blue with what they’re doing. In my opinion, they’re at a teetering point where they can show the fans whether they have a clue or not. If they sit back & fill this team with cheap, homegrown “prospects” instead of putting some good players on this team, then they fail in my book.

        I have been a diehard Mets fan since the early 80′s. I’ve lived through all their “can’t miss” prospects. I saw Paul Wilson, Bill Pullsipher, and Jason Isringhausen all burn out before “Generation K” even arrived; I saw the Mets turn down big-time deals for all-star players because “The Alexes” (Escobar & Ochoa) were untouchable; I heard all the talk about how Butch Husky was going to be the game’s next top power hitter; I witnessed the Mets turn down an in-prime Manny Ramirez trade because they didn’t want to part with 5-tool superstar Lastings Milledge; I saw Mets fans go off on a tirade against the team because how dare they trade Carlos Gomez for Cy-Young Award winning Johan Santana; and finally, I saw their most recent “can’t miss” position prospect, Fernando Martinez fall flat on his face. Through all that time, the Mets have been able to produce a whopping two prospects that reached their potential, David Wright & Jose Reyes, with the latter now playing north of the border. This franchise, just like many others, have seen some pretty bad luck with their prospects. There’s a reason why they’re called prospects; it’s because their potential is “prospective” and is anything from a sure thing. With the way the Mets have worked on rebuilding the farm system, they need to trade some of their prospects to land some proven players before the list I made above is updated with some newer names on it. It isn’t everyday that a player like Justin Upton becomes available via trade. Upton is the type of player that you should throw prospects at the other team to obtain. However, it seems more like the current regime is more interested in stocking their farm system & hoping & praying these guys become the players they hope they’ll be. Then once that strategy is proven once again to be a lost-leader, the “brass” will be fired & someone new will come in to blow it all up & start again.

        You said what I wrote was not expected from a Mets fan & I agree. I’m not like many Mets fans out there. Sometimes I’m even embarrassed to be associated with some Mets fans & the debate to trade for Upton is one of those times. Unlike many Mets fans, I’m not going to sit here & tell you that we have the next Nolan Ryan in Zach Wheeler or the next Mike Piazza in Travis d’Arnaud. I don’t engage in the game of ridiculously & at times delusionally overvaluing the Mets current crop of prospects. I’ve seen way too many of their prospects fail. Zach Wheeler has a better chance to be Mark Prior than he does Justin Verlander & d’Arnaud has a higher probability to be Jared Saltalamaccia than he does being the next Buster Posey; but the truth is that both players will probably wind up somewhere in the middle, with the hope being that they are closer to the star than the bust. Most Mets fans want you to believe we have the next dynasty on the farm, waiting to bust out, because, you know, they’re all talent evaluators & read some meaningless reports from Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus. Those reports mean nothing until the make it to the majors, healthy, and perform. Matt Harvey is almost there; he made it, he’s healthy, he has the mental makeup to become great, and he has the stuff to be dominant, but time will tell. Lucas Duda made, has been healthy, and has proven to be absolute garbage & undeserving of a starting OF job on any other team but the Mets. Finally, we have Jon Niese. Am I missing something here with this kid? He’s a nice pitcher, but he has been anything but great. Niese has been with the big boys for a while now & I’ve seen him get smacked around with a flat cutter & walk the ballpark just as many times as I’ve seen him put together quality starts (most meaningful barometer stat besides WAR). I have seen Niese tail off at the end of each year he’s been in the majors, so much so that he took the drastic measure of having his beak (nose) redone in the hope that he could breathe better & improve his stamina. When Niese is at his best, he’s a #3 starter; when Niese is at his worse, he’s not worthy of a rotation spot; and since he’s been in the majors, it’s been a 50-50 proposition with him. Despite that, how dare we consider trading him for a player like Justin Upton!!! Why? Because he’s a young lefty? Because he has a team-friendly contract? Well, last time I checked, my Mets are in dire need of a young, right-handed, power-hitting, good fielding outfielder than they are a #3 starter. Jon Niese has a skill set that can be replicated through free agency or mid-level trades whereas Upton is the type of talent that becomes available only once every handful of years. Many Mets fans will tell you that if we trade Niese to the D-Backs, we need more than Upton; they’ll tell you we need their top pitching prospect, too. The sad thing that a lot of Mets fans don’t see is that the D-Backs don’t think Niese is even 1/4 as good as Mets fans think he is. Truth being told, if the Mets were able to acquire Upton for a package revolving around Niese and possibly Wilmer Flores, the Mets would be committing highway robbery. I don’t think there’s a team, or fanbase, that wouldn’t trade a 26 year old #3 starter for a perennial .300/30/100, possible consistent MVP candidate who happens to only be 24 years old. No, there isn’t a team who would turn that trade down or a fanbase that wouldn’t approve of it except for the Mets & a majority of their fans. If you ask the Mets “experts” like Mike Baron or Matt Cerrone, the Mets “aren’t in a position” where they can afford to trade a few prospects for Upton. I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as not being in a position to acquire a player with the talent Upton has. It’s all jibber-jabber, nonsensical, hogwash coming from expert arm-chair talent evaluators & futon GMs. I know that I am not alone as a Mets fan with this sentiment. I know there are other fans out there who haven’t been brainwashed by Sandy into thinking the way to win is to stockpile prospects. I don’t care about A, AA, or AAA Championships; I care about MLB World Series Rings. I don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars each time I go out to Citi Field just to watch a great player like David Wright’s prime be wasted by watching prospects hopefully reach their potential. I care more about winning & beating my rivals than I do about taking away moral victories from 74-win seasons. Most of all, I am unlike Mets fans because I root for the uniform, the team – The New York Mets – more than I root for the guys in the uniforms. This is directly related to overvaluing talent. It’s nice when you a see a player make their way through the system & excel on the big club, but I don’t have a blind, delusional love for a player just because he’s homegrown. You will not hear many Mets fans speak the truth about players like Lucas Duda or Dillon Gee. The truth is that Duda is garbage & not a ML-caliber player & that Gee pitches like a #5 starter once every four or five outings. You would think that Ruben Tejada was the only SS in baseball to almost hit .300. If these guys were acquired from another team or signed as free agents, Mets fans would be screaming for these guys to be cut loose & would be willing to drive them out of town. Not Duda, Gee or Tejada, though. Mets fans will hold out all hope that these guys become superstars – despite the fact that they are barely ML players, except for Tejada who is a serviceable player – for the sole reason being that they are homegrown players. The more common term is “homegrown talent” but I refuse to even use the word “talent” when referring to them, especially Duda. It was the same thing with Josh Thole before he was traded as a garbage piece in the Dickey trade despite the fact that the Mets had the worst production at the catcher position in baseball both years Thole was their primary starter. Now everyone is seeing it with Niese & the possibility of trading him for a player that has the potential to be great. He wouldn’t be missed should he be traded.

        When Sandy Alderson was hired as GM – at the behest of Bud Selig – he promised Mets fans that he would put a good, exciting product out on the field that would compete for titles by 2013-2014. He’s done a good job by ridding himself of the Castillo, Perez & Bay contracts, and by retooling the farm system, but he has done little to improve the major league team & put them in a position the compete any time in the foreseeable future. He has yet to acquire a player that has made a difference or at least give me hope that there are brighter days ahead. He was tasked with rebuilding the bullpen before 2012; he acquired Ramon Ramirez, John Rauch & Franky Francisco, and those transactions only helped the Mets have the worst bullpen in baseball in 2012. Now, when he has the same task at hand, he is low-balling a pretty damn good pitcher in Brian Wilson, fooling himself & insulting Wilson by thinking he can be had for a minor league deal. I am holding him to that promise of being competitive. Alderson also promised “wholesale and sweeping changes” after last season. I’m holding him to that, too. However, the way things look today, he is content sending out a retread of 2012′s 74-win team with only minor tweaks & changes. You make minor tweaks & changes to a 74-loss team, not a 74-win team. The thing that aggravates me more than seeing my Mets lose the way the have & become a running joke amongst all baseball fans, not just Yankee fans, is that my fellow Mets fans are content with this garbage – signing prospects, holding onto them, and shopping from the dollar store clearance line in the free agent market. Trade the reigning Cy Young winner & replace him with Carl Pavano? Turn down an Upton trade & settle for a Lucas Duda & Scott Hairston platoon? I long for the days where we would’ve kept Dickey, got d’Arnaud for Niese, signed Josh Hamilton & Zack Greinke, and still try to trade for Justin Upton regardless of the price. Mets fans need to wake up & start rooting for the jersey, not the bodies in them. I’m no longer content with the coupon-clipping, dollar store clearance shelf manner this team is being constructed. At this pace, I’ll be using a walker before the Mets compete for anything. But hey, at least we still have Jon Niese & a bunch of prospects who have some good reports! Lets Go Mets!!!

        Thanks to those of you who read this. I have a lot to say on this topic. I’m a passionate, dedicated fan who is not happy with the direction this team is headed & the sense of contentment amongst my fellow fans for this garbage being fed to us. I will say this, Sandy Alderson is a GREAT leader & could’ve been a hell of a politician. They say the best leaders are the ones who can have the masses believe & follow their plan, beliefs, and agenda regardless of how good, great, bad, idiotic, or outlandish they are.

      • bolweevils2 - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        “I don’t think there’s a team, or fanbase, that wouldn’t trade a 26 year old #3 starter for a perennial .300/30/100, possible consistent MVP candidate who happens to only be 24 years old”

        Huh? Where are you getting “perennial .300/30/100″? Upton hit .300 (exactly .300) only once, hit 30 homers only once, and has never driven even 90 runs. And he is actually 25, admittedly a quibble. You’re deluding yourself into thinking he’s much better than the numbers say he is.

        He’s good. Twice he’s had an OPS around .900, which is excellent. Three times he’s had an OPS around .800, which is very solid. He’s a good player. But he’s not some superstar like you make him out to be. Is it possible he’ll be a late bloomer and become a superstar? Sure, he has the tools. But most likely what you see in his first 2500 career PA, a guy with a very respectable .832 OPS, is what he is.

    • bolweevils2 - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      First of all, the question isn’t whether Hairston should be an everyday outfielder. The question is whether he’d be an upgrade as an everyday outfielder over what they have now. And given that he can catch the ball and had a better OPS even vs. RHP than Duda last year, it’s quite possible he would be an upgrade, lousy or not. Though I’m with you that I wouldn’t want to meet the price he’s asking.

      Second, if you think the Mets have such a surplus of major league ready pitching, why are they in the market for another starter?

      Yes, they’ll be a retread of their lousy 2012. What difference would adding Upton while losing Niese make to a projected 90 losses? They might lose, what, 87 instead? What is insanity is giving up prospects that might get you more wins in some future season down the road when it might do you some good, in exchange for a player that might give you a few more totally meaningless wins this year. Maybe that trade gets the Mets from 62 to 65 wins this year, which accomplishes zero, while dropping them from 90 to 87 wins in, say, 2016, which then costs them the playoffs. (Over the last 3 years combined, Upton’s WAR was 5 more than Niese’s, so even giving the Mets 3 more wins in 2013 with Upton might be generous)

      Plus, Upton is making serious money. What financial sacrifices are they going to have to make to pay him over $14M in each of 2014 and 2015? And, while he’s certainly good, he’s hardly a great player. Based on the rejected deal with the Mariners, the D’Backs are going to want a boatload of talent for him, not just Niese. Do you do that for a merely good player?

      You want to concentrate the talent so it all comes together at the same time, not spread it out over time so you never have enough of it in any one season to do you any good. Giving up prospects to get Upton for now is just spreading the wins out instead of concentrating them.

  7. cadillacjosh - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Balks are never cool. I remember in 2009 when Dave Bush was getting torn apart by the Twins. He gave up like 7 runs in the first inning. I remember he went threw the wind up and was about to throw but he just never let go of the ball. One of the more interesting balks I had ever seen. Oh Dave Bush, you had so much potential every now and again.

    But yeah, I would never pay that much for either Hairston.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      The Pelfrey balk was one of my very favorites:

      http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/938601/j9lis4.gif

  8. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Did they fake the throw to 3rd first?

    • historiophiliac - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Yes, that was the “attempted” Dickey re-signing.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 16, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        Ha!

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Bob Davidson is his agent now. His contract demands are no worse than his strike zone, but neither are based in reality.

  10. pooinyourface - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    why wouldnt you expect that from a Mets fan? We’re nothing like trashy and classess yankee and philly fans.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      With a moniker like “pooinyourface” you may want to rethink your comment about which teams fans are “trashy and classless”.

  11. uyf1950 - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    According to MLBTR the Mets counter offered 1 year $2MM. If that’s even close to the truth Mets fans can say goodbye to him. No way he signs for that.

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