By Jason Wojciechowski on July 6, 2009 at 5:19 AM
Oakland acquired Scott Hairston from the fire-selling Padres, for three minor leaguers, including Craig Italiano. My initial reaction is that it's nice to grab someone who apparently has some semblance of power in his bat. He sports a .468 career slugging percentage, including .547 this year, despite over half of his career PA's coming as a San Diegan (and thus having to hit in Petco a significant percentage of the time). Hairston is not a young man at 29, but it appears from Cot's that 2009 was his first arbitration-eligible year, so he's got two more years under team control. This looks like a nice "for now and for next year" move by Billy Beane as San Diego is presumably looking to clear space so Kyle Blanks. (It should also be noted that San Diego is selling high on Hairston -- he's hitting .307 right now, but has never topped .250 in a full season before.)
Finally, and most importantly, Hairston UZR numbers indicate that he's a solid center fielder -- his career UZR/150 in center is 6.6 (indicating that he would be about 6.6 runs above average over the course of 150 games in center). Perhaps the long national nightmare of Ryan Sweeney in center field (.323 OBP, .359 SLG) is over.