On July 31st, 2012, Sandy Alderson made the decision to keep outfielder Scott Hairston in New York. The pros were obvious. Hairston was a monster against left handers, with a BABIP around .300 and an OPS just near .870. When he wasn't starting (in fact he started 32 more games against southpaws than righties), Hairston emerged as one of the more reliable bats off the bench, hitting .255 with the same amount of pinch-hit home runs (5) as Jordany Valdespin. It was obvious that Hairston was a part of Alderson's future due to the fact he wasn't moved, even though the Amazins found themselves 12 games out and all their playoff hopes all but washed away.
Hairston ended up with 8 homers in the second half compared to 12 in the first. He also managed 11 less RBI though he did see his AVG rise from .249 to .276. The Mets ultimately let Hairston walk after the year as Hairston took 2 years and 5 million from the Chicago Cubs.
The Mets inked veteran Marlon Byrd to a 1 year, 400,000 dollar contract on the 1st of February to possibly be Hairston's replacement. If Byrd happened to make the team, he would play his first games since June 8 with Boston. He had been suspended on June 25, 2012 because of testing positive for a banned substance. Byrd's best days arguably came with the Texas Rangers where he hit 40 home runs and drove in 212 runs over 3 seasons.
Not only did Marlon make the Opening Day roster, but he found himself roaming right field during game number 1. Byrd got off to an average start in April but has since kicked it up hitting 6 homers in June while driving in 16 runs. He's also hitting .319 in 47 at bats in July. Byrd has been one of the top offensive Mets this season but is also getting it done in the field with 6 outfield assists on the campaign.
Marlon has been talked about as a potential candidate to be moved by the end of the month and I find that a completely logistical move that the Mets can make, and here are 5 reasons why:
1. The Mets currently find themselves 10.5 games out of 1st place, so playoff chances don't look too great. This means the Mets can pretty much qualify as a team who can trade away expiring talent and come away with young talent
2. Only 2 current division leaders have right fielders who are hitting above .300 and only 1 of them have over 10 home runs. An example of a team with dismal right field production are the Atlanta Braves whose Jason Heyward is struggling to stay above .220 and is getting by with 21 RBI and 7 HR. The Dodgers are another contender whose Andre Ethier only has 5 HR at the midpoint.
3. The Braves have the 18th best farm system in baseball which is as low as it is due to call ups from 2012. The Dodgers are not hesitant to move minor leaguers as they acquired Ricky Nolasco for 3 prospects this past week.
4. Byrd is open. Marlon in a recent interview with Mets Merized Online said he would love to stay with the Mets but is going to go with whatever Sandy Alderson thinks is right.
5. Sandy obviously learned that Scott Hairston should have been moved at the deadline and I think he will jump at the opportunity this time around.