6:25 p.m. EST update: FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says the deal is done. Hairston will receive $6 million over two years, plus incentives, from the Dodgers. He’ll serve as a backup in both the infield and outfield, and he could push Juan Uribe for playing time at third base if Uribe struggles to bounce back from an awful 2011 season.
Ned Colletti: “Hey, Jerry. I think you’re great. I know there are a lot of teams out there who would love to have you around next season. I tell ya what I’m going to do. I’m going to offer you a two-year deal.”
Jerry Hairston Jr.: “Two years, Ned? I’m 35 years old, I’ve been in the big leagues 14 seasons and I’ve never had a multiyear deal. What’s the catch?”
Ned: “Catch? No catch. Well, I mean, you’ll have to settle for $1 million next year. But I can promise you a cool $5 million in 2012.”
Jerry: “OK, sure, why the heck not?”
Hairston is coming off one of his better years, having hit .270/.344/.383 in 337 at-bats for the Nationals and Brewers, and while he’s not much of a shortstop, his versatility does make him pretty valuable, even if it’s more the kind of value that leads teams to offer him one-year, $2 million contracts. If this gets done, it could potentially be the first time he’s spent two full years with the same team since his tenure with the Orioles ended after the 2004 season.
Free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas is drawing interest from at least four clubs, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Friday. The Brewers are the presumed frontrunners to land the infielder, but Heyman adds that the Angels may take the inside edge as Moustakas hails from the San Fernando Valley and has invested in charity efforts in California over the last year. The Phillies and Padres, on the other hand, have been involved to a lesser degree as they’re both thought to be in hot pursuit of fellow free agent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado, though their interest in the veteran Moustakas could ramp right back up should they lose out on Machado in the weeks to come.
Moustakas, 30, declined a $15 million mutual option with the Brewers at the end of the 2018 season, and like many others left on the market, has yet to find a landing spot in advance of spring training. While he’s several years removed from his last All-Star performance, he ran a decent campaign with the Royals and Brewers last year, slashing a combined .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs, a .774 OPS, and 2.4 fWAR across 635 plate appearances.
He certainly appears to be a fit in Anaheim, where he could supplant Zack Cozart at the hot corner and balance out the Angels’ right-heavy lineup alongside Kole Calhoun, Justin Bour, and Tommy La Stella. Even if the Angels have serious interest in the third baseman, however, they’re likely to wait and see what kind of contract Machado (and the as-yet unsigned Bryce Harper) fetches before extending any serious offers of their own. They’re far from the only club to use the four-time All-Star as a litmus test this offseason, which has only fueled a growing unrest among MLB players who believe that more serious action — such as a midseason walk-out or a league-wide strike — will need to be taken over the next few months.