Veteran Scott Hairston recently finalized a two-year, $5 million deal with the Chicago Cubs that is loaded with incentives. This is a great acquisition by the Cubs; the outfielder will be a great fit for the team.
Chicago will be the sixth team Hairston has played for in his nine-year Major League Baseball career. He has a career .247 batting average, 95 home runs, 279 runs batted in, 276 runs scored and a .302 on-base percentage. However, what he lacks at the plate he makes up for on the field, as he is one of the top defensive outfielders around.
The incentives in his contract include plate appearances that can total up to $1 million per season. He can also command $250,000 in roster bonuses for staying on the active 25-man roster for 130 and 160 days. This does not include any stint on the disabled list.
The 32-year-old Hairston will most likely play a reserve role for the Cubs, in which he will back up all three outfield positions as well as second base if the team needs him. Considering he is coming off of a career-high season at the plate with the New York Mets, it will be interesting to see what kind of offense he brings to a team that ranked in the bottom of the league in almost every single offensive category. Hairston batted .263 with 20 homers, 50 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 377 plate appearances in 2012.
The Texas native, who comes from a family of five men who have played at the professional level (Major League record), also brings a much needed veteran presence to a relatively young Chicago clubhouse. For a team that won only 61 games last season and is not expected to improve much on that record, Hairston is a welcomed member who can be just as much as a coach on the field as a threat at the plate.