There have been quite a few MLB rumors around the New York Yankees this off-season. Right now, Yankees GM Brian Cashman has made his focus on re-signing pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and Mariano Rivera which is the correct direction. However, there are still several holes that need to be filled especially at catcher and in the outfield.
After the Yankees season ended, there was quite a bit of speculation that the Yankees would target Torii Hunter to fill in for Nick Swisher until one of the kids in the minors was ready to assume the role. Hunter, however, signed with the Detroit Tigers earlier this week and the Yankees never even offered a contract to Hunter.
Ichiro Suzuki is still an option and could very well be the right fielder next season but the Yankees would also like to find a fourth outfielder/designated hitter type like they had with Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones last season.
Jones is gone after a very disappointing second half last season. Ibanez is in preliminary talks to come back to the Bronx but that still leaves a vacancy.
Enter Scott Hairston. Hairston spent last season with the New York Mets and saw quite a bit of playing time. He is, however, better in a platoon role, where he can focus on mashing left-handed pitching as he has in his career.
Hairston is a career .276 hitter with 39 home runs and 109 RBI in 850 at-bats against lefties. Against righties, Hairston’s average drops to .229 making him the ideal platoon player with Raul Ibanez at DH or to play left field against lefty pitching.
Hairston wouldn’t cost a lot but would offer tremendous bang for the buck and would be a huge upgrade over Jones and would be an excellent fit for the Yankees current philosophy.