01/18/10 8:01 PM EST
Hairston to join brother in San Diego
Padres reach agreement with utility man for one-year pact
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
He will be the second member of the Hairston family acquired by the team in three days.
On Saturday, the Padres reacquired Scott Hairston from the A's for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. Hairston played parts of three seasons (2007-09) with the Padres before he was traded to the A's in July.
San Diego manager Bud Black said he was excited to find a player like Hairston, who is a rare breed in the sense that he can do a little bit of everything.
"You're looking to fill a utility spot and to find a guy who can play shortstop, that's not easy. They're not out there," Black said. "I think this guy can be dangerous with the bat."
San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer also lauded Hairston's versatility.
"Having a more versatile bench was a need for us this winter," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said. "[Jerry Hairston] can play all over the field. He'll get time at third, shortstop, second and as the potential to play all three outfield positions. He brings a lot of energy and versatility.
"I know Buddy is certainly very excited because he gives them so many options. Not just in making out the lineup card but during the game. It gives him a lot of flexibility. Improving our bench was a priority. But getting Jerry, we addressed that."
Hairston, who is 33 and four years older than his brother, has been a free-agent target of the Padres all winter.
In fact, the Padres were talking to him and the agent whom he and his brother share, Casey Close, about a deal to be the right-handed outfield bat that they needed.
Instead, the Padres traded for Scott Hairston.
Hairston said that he was advocating that his brother sign with the Padres before the trade last week."It's a great feeling; this is something we talked about when we were young," Hairston said. "I think [the trade] had some influence." Hoyer said the trade that landed Hairston might have "sped things along at the very end" but that the Padres had been talking with Close for well over a month.
"[Jerry Hairston]'s been a priority player for us," Hoyer said.
Hoyer said Saturday that the team now has its sights set on finding a veteran pitcher, but indicated that the team is still looking for depth for the middle infield.
Jerry Hairston played third base, shortstop, second base and the outfield last season with the Reds and Yankees.
Hairston, a career .271 hitter in the National League (compared with .253 in the American League), would likely back up Chase Headley at third base, Everth Cabrera at shortstop and second baseman David Eckstein.
Hairston, who has been in the big leagues since 1998, has never played with his brother. The two were teammates last spring for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.