The offseason of futility continues for the New York Yankees as two potential targets will not be coming to the Bronx in 2013. Many believed, and our own Benjamin Orr opined too, that Scott Hairston would be a Yankee for the upcoming season in order to compete for the right-handed DH/fourth outfielder spot. He didn’t even stay in New York — the Mets were believed to be in on his services as well — and instead signed with the Chicago Cubs. Hairston and his agents said last week that he’d make a decision within the week. They led on that only the Mets and Yankees were in on him, but in a completely Theo Epstein move, the Cubs snatched him up from underneath both of them, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Sources: #Cubs in agreement on two-year deal with free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2013
The 32-year-old outfielder was slated to give the Yankees some versatility in the outfielder as well as compete for the starting DH spot against lefties. Instead, the Yankees will presumably roll into the season with Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler duking it out for the DH spot.
Hairston (smartly) wanted a multi-year deal after hitting .263/.299/.504 (118 wRC+) in 2012. He was even better against lefties (.286/.317/.550 & 135 wRC+), which is the exact reason he was on the Yankees radar to begin with. However, the Yankees wanted to sign him for only one-year and therein lies the reason he’s in Chicago, receiving $6 million over two years with incentives sprinkled in.
In other news, the Oakland Athletics recently designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment, which prompted many to say the Yankees should bring him in. The catching situation is a bit underwhelming at the moment with Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli likely to the be the #1 and #2 to start the season. However, according to Chad Jennings of LoHud.com, The Yankees show zero interest in Kottaras.
Was told today that the Yankees have no interest in C George Kottaras, who was recently DFA by Oakland.
— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) January 23, 2013
The 29-year-old lefty hitting catcher batted .211/.351/.415 (114 wRC+) last year with the A’s. That might not look all that great at the surface, but if we dig a little bit, we find a jewel, which comes in the form a 17.7% BB% (!!!). The guy certainly has an uncanny eye at the dish and averages a 13% walk rate over his career. His defense is nothing to write home about (-4 Defensive runs saved in 2012) and he only caught 19% of would-be basestealers. Kottaras is strictly an offense-first catcher and would have been a great addition to complement defensive-minded Chris Stewart and fist-pumpin’ extraordinaire Francisco Cervelli.