CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman says Scott Hairston was claimed on waivers Monday, but that the Mets outfielder won’t be joining a contender for the stretch run.
Both FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and Heyman are reporting that the undisclosed team that claimed Hairston did so to block another team from acquiring him.
Heyman says the Dodgers weren’t the team that claimed Hairston. There was some immediate speculation that they could have put in the claim to block the Giants, who are ahead of them in the standings, from getting Hairston.
Hairston, 32, has been one of the game’s best part-time outfielders this year, hitting .272/.312/.512 with 14 homers and 45 RBI in 283 at-bats. The Mets probably could have gotten a decent prospect for him prior to July 31, but they weren’t interested in moving him then. Now they’ll get nothing ahead of him potentially leaving as a free agent this winter.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.