Update: The Nats acquire Scott Hairston from Cubs
WASHINGTON — In need of a right-handed hitter off the bench, the Nationals have acquired outfielder Scott Hairston from the Cubs, a baseball source confirmed. It’s not known who the Cubs are getting in return. The Nationals have yet to confirm the report.
Hairston will provide power off the bench, something which has been lacking all season for the Nats. Before the trade, Hairston was hitting .163 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs. He will be reunited with general manager Mike Rizzo, who drafted Hairston in the third round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
Hairston’s best season in the big leagues was in 2009, when he hit a combined .265 with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs for the Athletics and Padres. Last year with the Mets, Hairston hit 20 home runs despite only starting 86 games.
Hairston comes from a baseball family. His older brother is Dodgers infielder Jerry Hairston Jr., who played for the Nationals in 2011. His father, Jerry Sr., played with the White Sox during the 1970s and grandfather, Sam Hairston, played for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro Leagues. Sam also played for the White Sox in the 1950s.
As one baseball source put it a couple of weeks ago, the Nationals needed to go out and get a veteran right-handed hitter for the bench. The team started the season hoping that Tyler Moore could provide power off the bench, but he has struggled mightily, batting .157 with 38 strikeouts in 102 at-bats. The Nats feel Moore is better suited as an everyday player, and that could happen with Triple-A Syracuse.
The Nationals are probably not done acquiring bench players. The source indicated that Washington is looking to acquire a second right-handed hitter to add more depth.
Besides Moore, the Nationals feel that Steve Lombardozzi is better suited as an everyday player. He, too, has struggled coming off the bench this season.