The fall back option for the New York Mets all winter in regards to the outfield has been outfielder Scott Hairston. Hairston had been seeking a two year deal, but the Mets were only willing to counter with a one year deal and a slight raise over what he made last year. Hairston, who was waiting to see how the opportunity for playing time would shake out with the Mets, isn't waiting on the Mets anymore. Hairston left Queens tonight to sign a two year deal with the Chicago Cubs, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports. Hairston will earn six million dollars over two years, an absolute bargain for a man who hit 20 home runs last season to place third on the team. Hairston is expected to platoon with lefties Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus in Chicago, giving him a clear path to playing time and an opportunity to get paid.
For the Mets, Hairston's defection is the latest non-move in an offseason that has been terrible. The Mets entered the offseason with a stated goal to improve on an outfield that was terrible last year. Since free agency opened in November, the Mets have subtracted three outfielders from last year's group (Hairston, Jason Bay, and Andres Torres) and have yet to bring in even one outfielder with major league experience. The current collection of outfielders they have, headlined by Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, should be competing just to make the roster. Due to the team's lack of activity, they are now assured roster spots they haven't earned. The inability to sign even one capable major league outfielder is an abject failure of the front office and it is extremely insulting to a fan base being asked to pay top dollar for a team that will be scrapping to stay out of last place in 2013. If six million dollars over two years for Scott Hairston is too much money for the Mets, they are in serious trouble.
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