Days after it was reported that there was mutual interest between the Chicago Cubs and free agent outfielder Scott Hairston, sources cited in report by Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago report that the two sides have agreed to a two year contract that is believed to be valued at $6 million. This off-season marked the first time that the 32-year old Hairston was available on the free agent market. Prior to signing a contract with the Cubs, Hairston was linked to the New York Yankees, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves.
The signing of Hairston likely has several implications for the Cubs’ roster. The first implication is that the Cubs will have to clear room on the 40 man roster before they can officially announce Hairston’s signing. Hairston is not the only player that the Cubs need to make room for on the 40 man roster. The Cubs still have yet to officially announce the signing of pitcher Carlos Villanueva. The candidates currently on the Cubs’ 40 man roster that figure to be prime candidates to be designated for assignment are catcher Steve Clevenger and outfielder Tony Campana. The Cubs could also clear space on their 40 man roster with a trade, which is a viable possibility.
Expect Hairston to serve as a platoon partner with right fielder Nate Schierholtz. With the New York Mets in 2012, Hairston hit .263/.299/.504/.803 to go along with a career high 20 home runs and 57 RBIs. 2012 was the first season that Hairston reached the 20-home run plateau, so there may be some question as to if the outfielder could do it again in 2013. Nonetheless, Hairston does add some stability to the Chicago Cubs’ outfield. Hairston has experience in center field as well, meaning he could serve as a platoon partner with David DeJesus as well.
Hairston was a member of the 2010 San Diego Padres, that was the first season that current Cubs’ General Manager Jed Hoyer was the general manager for the Padres.