scott hairston metsWe’re still waiting on the Chicago Cubs to open up the necessary roster spot to finalize the Scott Hairston signing, but here’s a little tidbit while we wait. Bruce Levine previously reported that the contract was going to be two years and up to $6 million, depending on incentives, but we didn’t yet know the deets.

Jon Heyman today confirmed Levine’s numbers, and added the final tallies: it’s $5 million guaranteed, and $1 million in incentives. Notice how many of the Cubs’ contracts in the last 15 months have included incentives? I’m a big fan.

As for the Hairston deal, specifically, I think it’s a freaking steal. As it stands, Hairston is a borderline starter in the outfield, and he’s being paid like a pretty decent fourth outfielder. Given that, when he’s used in equal portions against lefties and righties, Hairston can put up numbers comparable to Alfonso Soriano, it isn’t at all inconceivable that the Cubs could have netted some surplus value in that contract right there. That means, if the Cubs do view Hairston as a possible flippable asset, he could net them a prospect at the deadline (if he’s performing well) even if they don’t eat a ton of salary. And if they do eat salary, maybe they net a decent prospect. (Remember: Jeff Baker got the Cubs an actual, legitimate pitching prospect in Marcelo Carreno.)

And if the Cubs don’t look to deal Hairston, or if he fails to perform like he did last year, the downside risk here is extremely small.

Hairston isn’t the difference between competing and not competing, and two years and $5 million doesn’t really change the budget in one direction or the other, but this is just a great deal. Early in the offseason, I suggested that the Cubs might wait out the crowded outfield market, and let one of the guys still looking for a job in January/February fall into their lap. Well, it’s possible he just did.

  • Tyler Brown

    Very nice article…If you could check out my blog at that would be much appreciated…Thanks!

    • Brett

      Thanks, Tyler. Advice for the future – Planting links like that tends to be poorly received. If you want to get new readers, it has to be a little bit more natural and organic than that. Otherwise, it just looks like spam (which I suspect you aren’t trying to do).

      Everyone: be nice.

      • hansman1982

        Agree, spend some time here, get to know the neighborhood and just keep your links to your name. Otherwise, it just looks like you are trying to poach off Bert’s hard work and efforts to build a respectable name for himself.

        Also, register a pic at so it shows up when you comment. I know I tend to pay a hair more attention to noobs that do that…except for Darth – pay NO attention to him. He is a mindless troll that posts garbage.

        • Tyler Brown

          Im just getting started, so im just trying to get my url out there. Not trying to cause any harm

        • DarthHater

          Hey, Bert! Would you please tell him again to be nice!!! 😉

          • hansman1982

            Thank goodness my name isn’t “Everyone”

        • Tyler Brown

          also how do I put a picture on here?

          • DarthHater

            Go to and follow the instructions there. Then use the same email address here that you use there.

            And don’t pay any attention to anything hansman says. He’s a big meanie!

          • Blublud

   I only know cause I have only had to ask like 3 or 4 times.

            • Brian

              Thanks for the tip on the avatar site

        • Blublud

          Yeah, hecause nobody wants to see him benefit from “Berts” hard work.

      • Featherstone

        But, Rabble Rabble Rabble. *puts away pitchfork and torch*

  • Tyler Brown

    No not at all, thank you for the advice!

  • Craig

    If the Cubs were to sign Bourne and Lohse to reasonable multi year contracts, do you think they could contend this year? We would have a solid starting five: Garza, Smardja, Lohse, Jackson, Baker plus Feldman, Wood and Villenueva could be added to pen and be starting depth. We would have five solid OFs, solid young INF plus good young C. Great depth.

    I believe we could win division and keep giving kids time to develop in minors. Plus, our advantage is we just lose 2nd and 3rd round pick which I know is big but at least we have 1st rounder. Then at end of year we try to extend Garza or get a draft pick for him if he rejects qualifying offer. Worse case senerio is we have a lot of tradable vets in July if we don’t contend.

    • Yet another JP

      Not sure if serious…

  • MichiganGoat

    Okay now that Internet Ethics 101 is over everyone needs to get prepared for another round of Campana useless arguements.

    • DarthHater

      Wait. Which is useless? Campana? Or the arguments?

      • Wilbur

        Sweeeet …

    • Blublud

      Hey MG, I’m out of the Campana debate today. Eventually, enough is enough.

      • MichiganGoat

        Its offical we are in bizzaro BN, BluBud doesn’t want to argue why Campana should be be kept on the 25 man roster. BIZZARO BN

        • DarthHater

          This is what happens when you let goats on the internet…

        • Behind enemy lines (south side cub fan)

          Lol 😉

  • North Side Irish

    Hey Bert, any speculation on the timeline for the corresponding 40 man move? More or less days than for Villanueva?

    • Brett

      Definitely sooner. Within a week I’d think. Spring Training creeping up.

    • Rcleven

      Not Bret but if the Cubs push signing Harrison till spring training they can DL somebody and not expose anybody.

      • DarthHater

        Pretty sure that would be the point at which the league office would get involved…

  • willis

    At this price I love this deal. If it’s a flop who cares, and if it even somewhat works out it’s a steal.

  • Seth

    I’m quite surprised no one else wanted him or made a better offer. Just goes to show the current outfield market I guess.

  • ChicagoCubsTalk

    Bourn would end up like another Alfonso Soriano if the Cubs do decide to pick him up..I would feel better if they just wait and let Almora, Jackson, and Soler to develop

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m not a Bourn fan and don’t want the Cubs to sign him but the whole “sign the FA when they are available” (as has been discussed here before) comes to mind when we start waiting for prospects. If we sit still while FA are available while we wait for a prospect to appear and live up to our dream we will never win many games. BUT we should not sign ALL THE PLAYERS just because they are available. This offseason shows how the FO has been strategic in the type of player they are interested in obtaining (Jackson and Sanchez (sad goat) are perfect examples) vs. over spending for guys like Hamilton and Bourn. The FO and Ricketts will spend for the right FA but with the new CBA I think thier focus will be on trading for the right player.

      • Noah

        I think the issue that a lot of Cubs fans are getting themselves into is that it’s all one way or the other. We’re either signing a bunch of free agents or waiting for the prospects to develop. I think you described the Cubs’ free agent philosophy well, so I won’t spend time repeating that. But the issue for the Cubs with prospects isn’t necessarily waiting until they are “ready”, but until they can be converted into MLB assets. Sometimes a prospect converts himself into an MLB asset by becoming ready, sometimes you do that via trade. Quite frankly, even if all three of Baez, Almora and Soler become stars, my bet is that at least one of them do it for another team because the Cubs will somewhere between 1 and all 3 of them for established MLB stars (think David Price or Giancarlo Stanton types).

        • MichiganGoat

          Precisely good/great prospects are what allows you to trade for more established young players, and this FO will quickly trade prospects for the right young MLB player. If Solar, Almora, Solar, Baez etc can get you a Price, Stanton etc then you make those trades (but right now those players aren’t going to get you those players regardless of how great we hope/expect them to become). In the next few years a couple of then will get traded for players that have proven they can compete in the MLB. We might get burned on a trade or two but that’s the risk you take.

        • praying the cubs get ready to win

          What about a trade of DeJesus, Almora and Vogelbach for Stanton, then we have our roster spot for Hairston?

          • Rmoody100

            I couldn’t even imagine a trade for Stanton that wouldn’t at least include Baez. Depending on the team it would probably also have to include Vizcaino plus another top lets say 15 guy. I mean I am scrapping the barrel here because even that trade might not even be considered.

          • Dr. Percival Cox

            You managed a trifecta here. First, the trade isn’t even close to enough for Stanton. Second, you literally can’t trade Almora until July (one calendar year after he signs his first contract). Third, it doesn’t even accomplish what you’re suggesting as DeJesus and Stanton are on their respective teams 40-man rosters, and Almora and Vogelbach aren’t.

          • MichiganGoat

            The laughter from Miami would be heard world wide

    • Bigg J

      I am not a huge Bourn fan either, but if the Cubs get a good deal for him, then why not? He is way better then Jackson and DeJesus.

  • Die hard

    Wonder if Ronnie Cedeno would’ve been better fit?

    • MichiganGoat

      A better fit for what? A IF back up?

      • scorecardpaul

        Goat, you must not have realized who you were responding to?? Cedeno would be our shortstop when Castro moves to center to solve all of our problems.
        I don’t know why, but I always called Cedeno “milktoast” I’ve never been a fan of milktoast.

        • TWC

          Milk toast? Or milquetoast?

        • Die hard

          Better IF than him made the move onto HOF careers -H. Aaron and R. Yount which made them better hitters

          • Drew7

            Come again?

            • T C

              He has a point – CF and other outfield positions are a lot less taxing on the body, and could theoretically help Castro stay healthy and less worn-out on a day-to-day basis, which could help him perform better at the plate

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Well, his point takes a beating given that history shows a different pattern. Yount’s hitting was no better once he moved to CF: it went from really, really good to really, really good. Yount’s single best season came while he was a SS (a 0.950 OPS in 1982!) and he posted multiple 0.800 OPS seasons at SS. He also posted multiple 0.800 seasons as an OFer. (Yount was moved because of an injury that affected his ability to play SS in the mid 1980’s.)

                Aaron was moved from 2nd while a minor leaguer. There are two different stories. One, given his slight frame (he a stick until he hit 40), they were afraid that he’d get broken on a take-out slide. Two, he was going to kill spectators sitting behind first base. These are, of course, not mutually exclusive. The fact that Aaron’s hitting improved probably had more to do with the fact that he was 19 or 20: his continued to steadily improve for a few years.

                In both cases, it is worth noting that moving to the OF hurt their value: although both posted great numbers, the difference between either Yount or Aaron and the average CF or RF was a lot less than the difference between Yount or Aaron and the average SS or 2Bmen. (This is really true in Aaron’s case: most teams were playing Darwin Barney types in the 1950’s whereas there were a lot more Trammel/Sandberg types playing MI the 1980’s).

  • Miggy80

    Maybe the FO hopes that some of Scotts scrappyness rubs off on Campana. The Hairston family is the scrappyest family in baseball history.

  • Bigg J

    Why are the Cubs so hesitant to DFA Campana? Just get it over with. They would have traded him by now if there was potential

  • @cubsfantroy

    I’m still not sold on the Hairston move. I still want Campana gone as well. At least tucked away in AAA. I am so sick of the Campana arguments as well.

  • mudge

    The Campana arguments are the only reason I check in here. To each his own, I guess.

    • hansman1982

      I prefer the “Who’s the Bigot Now” arguments.

      • MichiganGoat

        I’m here only for the beer

        • beerhelps


  • OlderStyle

    “Hairston isn’t the difference between competing and not competing…”, looking forward to the day when we can have a discussion about a player in that context.

    • Brett

      I’d say 9 months.

      • OlderStyle

        Fingers crossed… My inner Cub fan wants to believe, but my other inner Cub fan says keep your head down. It’s kind of a yin/yang inner Cub fan thing.

  • DarthHater

    From Bruce Levine’s chat today:

    Bob (Chicago)

    I was wondering what you think the percents on trade happening for Soriano, Garza and Marmol? Thanks

    Bruce Levine (1:37 PM)

    In reverse order, Marmol should be gone before opening day. He’s been a tremendously durable reliever and someone will give the Cubs what they want in return. Garza would have to pitch probably into May or June before the Cubs would consider trading him, in order to get optimum value back. With Garza it could still go either way. They could trade him by the deadline or sign him to an extension. At this point, some team will have to lose one of their RBI producers before the Cubs are able to deal Soriano in a mutually satisfying trade. As far as the trades go, Marmol has 5 teams he can veto and Soriano can veto any deal because of his 10 & 5 rights.

  • FastBall

    I still think it’s not very likely all these prospects make it to the majors. So it’s probably a good idea to plan like they aren’t going to make it to the ML rather than plan that they are. You can always trade away guys like Hairston, Bourn and DeJesus. They don’t make that much. Maybe Bourn gets paid a more but still there will be a market for him if he is pushed out by Almora or Jackson. I personally don’t think Jackson is going to make it in the bigs. If he doesn’t your waiting a bit on Almora. So Bourn isn’t a bad signing. I have never been sold on Jackson and I don’t think he can fix a hole in his swing the size of Texas. He might close that gap some but not enough to be a reliable ML player.

  • Bigg J

    It is going to be a huge gift if the Yankees can void A-Rod’s contract.

    • JBarnes

      Ha I’m glad somebody said this. Me and a fellow Cubs fan were talking about this earlier today. Arod is already out for the majority of the season if not all and may have just ended his career with the Yankees. Maybe this gets the Yankees interested in Soriano. I actually can’t think of who they have right now for 3B/LF/DH but Soriano could fill two of those spots. Last time I looked the Yanks didn’t have a lot of exciting prospects but I know they’ve got some decent catchers and pitchers in the minors that wouldn’t be a bad pick up for Soriano.

      • JBarnes

        Should have looked this up before the last post but…they’ve got Youk for 3B which I forgot about and Gardner/Granderson/Ichiro for the OF. Texiera and Cano seem to the only legit all around power sources and also Granderson adding homers but not a ton of RBI’s. That’s a pretty down offense when you consider what the Yankees are use to having. Also not sure if they plan on using Youk/Ichiro in full time roles…plus we know they wanted a RH outfield bat because of their interest in Hairston. Add in that Soriano wants an East Coast team and is familiar with NY and maybe a deal is possible.

        • Jeff1969

          Maybe there some sort of cosmic thing happening seeing as how ARod is going, maybe Soriano could return to NYC? How about Sori for Betances? His stock has bottomed out pretty well now. Maybe?

          • Xavier

            Cubs would need more maybe adding Banuelos and an average pitching prospect.

  • ChicagoCubsTalk

    A-Rod is a disappointment to all of baseball

    • JBarnes

      Agreed, never really liked him. I was a huge Griffey fan and for some reason I think that made me despise Arod a bit. Plus he seems like a smug Ahole.

  • ramy16

    Guys any news about Lendy Castillo? I was a fan of his last we have options on him like sending him down to AAA Iowa? I know we went to great depths to keep him last year..i wish we would have DFA Campana instead

    • Xavier

      A minor league option doesn’t take him off the 40 man. Campana is way more important for now then Castillo but there’s a good chance Castillo stays and the Cubs need another guy off the 40 man probably Dave Sappelt.

      • hansman1982

        Campana, right now, is the 6th OF (by wOBA he is a borderline 5th OF, slot him behind Jackson and bingo).

        Sappelt did more to score runs last year in his callup than Campana has the whole time in the bigs.

  • ramy16

    Questions my fellow bleacher nation brothers..Alfonso Soriano needs 60 home runs to hit the 400 club, does that put him in the hall fame?? Just curious..i was having an argument with a Cardinals fan..i think he’s hall of fame potential? He also has over 300 career stolen bases as well..just wanted some input on the matter so I can shut him he’s telling me that Jack Clark had better numbers than Soriano through his career..nothing against Jack Clark..but Soriano is way better

    • Blublud

      I asbbig a Sori fan as you will find, and if he retired 30 years aho with those numbers, he would be in the hall, but right now, he is not a Hall of Famer.

    • TWC

      Alfonso Soriano is has been a very good baseball player.

      Alfonso Soriano will never be in the Hall of Fame.

      • justinjabs

        But…. lack of PEDs! or something!

    • MichiganGoat

      No HOF he won’t even get enough to last a couple of ballots, best to just leave that arguement alone

      • blublud

        I honestly don’t think he ever used PEDs, but he is one guy that if he had, his number could have been crazy.