Hairston grateful to Reds for chance
Free agent expected to hit open market, open to Cincinnati return
CINCINNATI -- Infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. rediscovered success last season with the Reds and is grateful.Hairston, a free agent, wouldn't mind having another go in Cincinnati, but he isn't afraid to see what else is out there. "Other clubs saw what I did last year, but the Reds know me best and gave me a chance," Hairston told MLB.com on Wednesday. "I'm appreciative of [manager] Dusty Baker, [general manager] Walt Jocketty and [former GM] Wayne Krivsky for giving it to me. I'm a loyal person and a fair person, too. I'll look for what I'm worth out there. Hopefully, everything will work out for me and my family." Jocketty and the Reds held talks with Hairston's agent, Casey Close, last week during the GM Meetings and reported some progress. Talks haven't moved enough to the point to make Hairston a candidate to be re-signed before Friday, when players become free to negotiate with any team. Signed to a Minor League deal in March, Hairston began last season at Triple-A Louisville but became a key offensive producer after his April callup. The 32-year-old batted .326 with six home runs, 36 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. The previous two seasons with the Rangers and Cubs, he batted around .200. "I took care of what I had to do on the field, and I'll let my agent deal with the off-the-field stuff," said Hairston. "To be honest, I've left it to my agent. It's best not to discuss it. He's got the pulse of the market. I'm going to let him handle it." Jocketty said that none of the team's nine free agents would likely be re-signed before Friday.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.