The Yankees signed Matt Diaz earlier this week which fills their need for a right handed hitting outfielder, but despite that they are still interested in signing Scott Hairston, according to Kevin Kernan of the NY Post.
This makes sense since Diaz is coming off a few injury plagued seasons, his numbers have taken a hit as a result, and he’s signed to a non-guaranteed minor league deal. This way they have him as a backup while they go after their real target which apparently is Hairston.
The Yankees have been linked to Hairston for pretty much the entire offseason. They view him as a good fit to replace Andruw Jones as their right handed hitting outfield, which he would do well coming off a season where he hit lefties to the tune of .286/.317/.550 in 199 plate appearances. That’s not a lot of patience, but a good average and power for a part time player.
The problem is that Hairston has been holding out for a two-year deal. He might not get it of course, as he’s been waiting for over a month now and one hasn’t materialized. Unfortunately for the Yankees it sounds like he prefers a return to the Mets too so even if he settles for a one-year deal eventually it might not be with them. Hence why signing Diaz to a minor league deal makes sense as they now have something to fall back on if they miss out on their target.