Ned Colletti has signed Jerry Hairston Jr. to a 2 year deal worth 6 million dollars because…of course. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’ll make $2.25 million in 2012 and $3.75 million in 2013, which means the contract is back loaded because…of course.
In all fairness, Hairston is certainly versatile and useful, as he can play 2B, 3B, SS, CF, and LF. Being brought on as a utility infielder though is puzzling, as it means the Dodgers arguably have at least five of them in Hairston, Juan Uribe, Adam Kennedy, Justin Sellers, and Ivan DeJesus.
Over 300 plate appearances, he totals -5 batting, -0.5 baserunning, -1 defense, 0.5 position, and 10 replacement.
In 2010 with the Padres, Hairston put up a .244/.299/.353/.652 line, but followed that with a better 2011 split between the Nationals and Brewers, posting a .270/.344/.383/.727 slash. Given that he’ll be going into his age 36 season, I put Hairston around .260/.330/.370/.700 with a .310 wOBA or so.
With the glove, he’s about average or on the fringes of average at 2B, 3B, CF, and SS, but excels in LF. However, I project him to mainly play the former positions rather than the latter, unless they bench both Juan Rivera and Jerry Sands and any upcoming prospects from that position, thus making my head explode.
The Dodgers are in a bit of a Catch-22 situation now, as Jerry Hairston Jr. and the rest of the utility infielder Avengers could all be worth their contracts if they get adequate playing time. However, in order to get that playing time, one of these guys has to lose it and thus be completely not worth their deals. Since no projected regular or backup are free of Ned Colletti’s hands except Dee Gordon and Justin Sellers, it’s almost a no win situation having this many guaranteed deals for mediocre players, with some of them being on multiple year deals.
I already mentioned previously that I actually didn’t mind Jerry Hairston Jr. on the team, and I honestly still don’t, mainly because of the versatility he brings to the table. I think there’s value beyond his WAR in the way he fills out a bench. However, the problem, as with most of Ned Colletti’s signings, is the opportunity cost of the deal and his asset management.
I know it sounds like I’m beating a dead horse by saying that, but I can’t not say it, because it’s a sad reality.