On Wednesday, SDI Sr. Columnist James Holland made mention of the need for a right-handed bat that would come via trade. As someone who recalls the lack of depth on the bench in the World Series last year (see Esteban German), I couldn’t agree more.
Brandon Snyder has been a pleasant surprise this season (.308/.357.564), but his .429 BABIP will not stand forever.
The answer is Mets OF Scott Hairston. He is currently third in MLB with a 1.158 OPS against LHP on the season (50 PA min.). Overall, Hairston is hitting .288/.336/.595 with a 152 OPS+. Defensively, Hairston has been slightly below average (-3.5 UZR since 2010), but is merely providing depth in that regard. He would be a guy that helps the rest of the season, but his veteran bat will be more valuable off the bench in the postseason.
Modified lineup against LHP:
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
DH Scott Hairston
CF Craig Gentry
Bench: David Murphy, Yorvit Torrealba, Mitch Moreland and Alberto Gonzalez
What does it cost the Rangers? Back in 2010, the Rangers traded for Jeff Francoeur from the Mets for Joaquin Arias. This time I could see the Rangers parting with Engel Beltre to secure Hairston, but it wouldn’t take more than that. Hairston’s base salary is $1M this season so cost would not be an issue.
There are definitely sexier names at there on the trade market, but Hairston fits the budget and could be a minor move come July 31, that pays off in October.