Every winter, at every level of the free agent market, someone has to set the standard. Occasionally players will get a deal they like and sign without their market being set, but as a general rule, someone has to set the bar. This late in the offseason, as the Yankees have prioritized their need for a right-handed outfielder, it’s Scott Hairston who has to set the market.
At 32 years old, and coming off a career year, this would seem to be a prime opportunity for Hairston to cash in with a multi-year deal and an everyday job. I’m not sure he’ll get exactly that kind of deal, but I can’t blame him for asking for one.
Today, Jim Bowden reported that Hairston is expected to make his decision by the end of the week, and for the Yankees, that’s good news one way or the other. It seems unlikely that the Yankees will actually sign Hairston, but his signing would set the market for similar right-handed outfielders, which should make it easier for the Yankees to take care of their current priority.
For the Yankees to move on, they need to settle this right-handed outfield search, and one way or another, Hairston should make that task a little easier.