Hairston's deal includes incentive clauses that could increase the value to $6 million (Levin, ESPN Chicago).
6:15 am: According to people familiar with the situation, Hairston was asking for two years and $8 million guaranteed. The Mets were offering a one-year deal worth up to $3 million. The Cubs offered the same, but added a second year. So, good for him.
Hairston always wanted to lock in the most money, even if it meant being a platoon player. If no one offered a two-year deal, people say he would have accepted just a one-year contract, but the choice would have been based on playing time not money. The Mets, Braves and Yankees were said to be offering him one-year deals. Now, the Mets are telling people this situation was more about playing time than money, which may have been true at one point. However, the Cubs eventually jumped and guaranteed a second year, which Hairston accepted, despite knowing he'll get less at bats. So, it pretty much seems this ended up being ALL about money, from what I can tell. If the Mets (like the Braves and Yankees) just didn't think Hairston was worth committing to for two years, that's fine. They weren't alone in that thinking. But, to pretend it wasn't about him taking the most cash (which is totally understandable) just doesn't seem accurate anymore. In other words, if the Mets really wanted Hairston, they could have had him by offering what the Cubs offered. They didn't, because they obviously didn't want him that bad... which is surprising, given their outfield.
I mean, at this rate, unless the Mets make a surprising trade or sign Michael Bourn, the early-season outfield is likely to be some rotating combination of Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andrew Brown, Colin Cowgill, and anyone else who owns a glove and pair of flip-up sunglasses.
Hairston hit .263 with a .299 OBP, 20 HR, 25 doubles and 57 RBI in 377 at bats for the Mets last season, during which he hit .286 in 189 at bats against left-handed pitchers.
Jan. 11, 1:36 pm: The Mets like Hairston, but would like to acquire a bigger name outfielder first. If that falls through, they will move on signing Hairston (Heyman, CBS Sports).
Jan. 9, 2:53 pm: The Mets could give Hairston a two-year deal (Rubin, ESPN New York).