Long gone are the offseason days when the New York Mets and New York Yankees were rumored to be doing battle over the right to have stars like Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana wear their uniform the coming season. That much we know. It’s interesting, however, to now see the Yankees join the Mets in their pursuit of offseason bargains. I hesitate to call it a ‘bidding war’, but as both teams look to fill holes in their outfield, both New York clubs have been rumored to be interested in Scott Hairston and Ben Francisco. That’s right, not Josh Hamilton (the prize of this free agent OF class), not B.J. Upton, not Cody Ross or Nick Swisher (yuck) or Shane Victorino (gag) or Angel Pagan (good lord), not even Torii Hunter or Ryan Ludwick. It looks like the Mets and Yanks are set to dig in and see who can come up with the best pitch to help lock down Scott Hairston or Ben Francisco for 2013.
Of Hairston, Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York recently wrote:
It appears that the bidding for free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston mainly involves two teams: The Yankees and the Mets.
According to Casey Close, Hairston’s agent, talks are continuing with both teams and Hairston expects to make a decision about where he will play in 2013 in “a matter of days.”
A Met for the past two seasons, Hairston had the best year of his career in 2012, batting .263 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. He played 131 games in the outfield for the Mets, most of them in left-field.
“I think he’s a good fit for either team,” Close said. “But there are different roles at each place and Scott is deciding which is the best option for him.”
As for Ben Francisco, who hit just .240 with four homers and a .670 OPS last season between the Blue Jays, Astros and Rays, Mark Hale of the New York Post recently tweeted:
Let’s look on the bright side, if this is what things have come to, at least in Hairston’s case it looks as though the Mets have the advantage………score!
I know all the other free agents I listed above got contracts that likely make most consider them ‘overpaid’, but the market dictates the cost of doing business and some teams chose to step up and operate with that in mind. The Mets decided the time was not right to do so and I understand that, I even agree with it. I even doubt a player like Hamilton would have been enough to make this current roster a playoff team.
I have resigned to the fact that 2013 is not where the front office has pointed its focus and so I will wait to see how things evolved come the All-Star break and next offseason. After all, ‘waiting’ is now the status quo in Queens. The thing that I find interesting is that the Mets, admittedly or not, are in pretty deep into their rebuilding phase and so these kind of signings are to be expected. As for the Yankees, I’m not exactly sure where they are doing or where they stand, I just know things seem very ‘un-Yankee like’ of late.
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