I’m not a Reds fan, but because they’re close to me and because I have friends that are Reds fans I tend to obsess on their minor personnel moves more than I would that of other teams. This is one worth obsessing on a bit:
The Reds, securing protection at shortstop, have reached a preliminary agreement with free agent Jerry Hairston Jr. on a one-year, $2 million contract, according to major-league sources. The deal, expected to be announced on Wednesday, includes $2 million in incentive bonuses.
Hairston, 32, chose to remain with the Reds rather than sign with the Cardinals in part because he expects to play regularly at short, sources said.
Shortstop? He’s played 40 games at shortstop in his career, 34 of which came last season when he was 32 years old. Someone who knows anything about defense, tell me: is it even remotely possible that Hairston could handle shortstop for 150 games? And even if he can, while this may help his own bat look a bit better, doesn’t it mean that Norris Hopper and Chris Dickerson are your left fielders?
Given the stadium in which they play, it strikes me that the Reds cannot afford to give anyone any extra outs, as Hairston at short is likely to do. It also strikes me that they can’t devote two of their three outfield slots to guys who can’t hit, as the Dickerson/Hopper platoon + Willy Taveras in center situation is likely to do.
If this makes sense beyond what I’m seeing, someone, please tell me how.