The Mets have reportedly re-signed Scott Hairston to a major league deal worth $1.1 million dollars. That works. Hairston can play all three outfield positions in theory and hits righthanded, filling two of the Mets’ bench needs. He also demonstrated last season that he could sit on the bench for weeks at a time — superior sitting being an important talent for a bench player — and then jump right back into action without missing a beat, which is probably an underrated asset for a fourth outfielder. All of Hairston’s skills — swinging really hard, standing in the outfield, depilation — fit the Mets needs, so this seems like a natural match.
The Mets outfield depth now looks like this, with each player’s listed position being the one they can play without embarrassing themselves:
1. Lucas Duda – LF
2. Andres Torres – CF
3. Jason Bay – LF
4. Scott Hairston – OF
5. Mike Baxter – RF
6. Kirk Nieuwenhius – CF
7. Fernando Martinez – DL
Assuming Kirk Nieuwenhuis isn’t going to make the Opening Day roster barring injuries, and because Mike Baxter is signed to a minor league deal, the Mets may bring in another outfielder (Willie Harris?) before the winter is over. One more fifth-outfielder type and this isn’t an unbelievably terrible group.
One last detail: Hairston is returning on a major league deal, meaning the Mets will need to play roster musical chairs when the signing is officially announced. Their 40-man roster already has 40 men on it, so someone will need to be dropped to make room for Hairston — D.J. Carrasco, minor league pitcher Armando Rodriguez and minor league infielder Zach Lutz look like the candidates to my eyeballs, with Danny Herrera, Fernando Martinez (if he’s irreparably injured) and Jason Bay (probably not, but we can hope) as the long shots.