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washington nationals logoThe Chicago Cubs front office never sleeps. I like that.

Overnight, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Cubs are going to trade outfielder Scott Hairston to the Washington Nationals for a minor league pitcher in a deal that will be announced at some point today. Jon Heyman chipped in with a confirmation that additionally noted that the pitcher was an A-ball pitcher, and that the Cubs were kicking in a little bit of cash (less than $500,000) in the deal.

The Cubs signed Hairston late in the offseason to a two-year, $5 million deal, which seemed like a steal at the time. Hairston was coming off a great year with the Mets (118 OPS+, 1.6 WAR in part-time duty), and the Cubs needed a right-handed complement to their various outfield platoons. Although flipping him was probably always a part of the appeal, I don’t know that moving him this soon after signing his deal was an expectation.

That’s especially true after he hit just .172/.232/.434 out of the gate. Then again, his BABIP is just .129(!!!), and he’s got a .739 OPS against lefties this year, despite all of the struggles. He does have three homers and a .333/.455/1.333 line in his last six games, and he’s hitting a more reasonable .206/.282/.485 since April, so maybe the Nats sensed a buy low opportunity. Hopefully the Cubs didn’t indulge that sense in the hopes of a mere salary dump.

To that end, and as for the return, I’m very excited to learn the identity of this mystery A-ball pitcher coming back to the Cubs. I don’t expect that it will be a top prospect – or even someone in the Nats’ top 30 – but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s someone at least worth knowing. The Cubs are getting the bulk of Hairston’s contract paid for, but it’s such a small sum of money. Hopefully the Cubs aren’t in a situation where saving a few million bucks on an under-market deal they just signed is a priority.

My gut says that the Cubs would have been content to hang onto Hairston until at least the offseason, given his contract, unless they actually received something useful in trade. We’ll see if my gut is just optimistic.

No one has said anything about international pool slots, but we do know that the Cubs are looking for those as well. Maybe we’ll come to find that a pool slot is coming back to the Cubs in this deal, too.

  • curt

    way go be on top of things Brett but comeon couldn’t you find a pic of Hairston in a cubs uniform lol jk. new slogan for the cubs, ” trade all the players”.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Workin’ on it. Since he’s out the door, there wasn’t a whole lot of incentive …

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There. No more Hairston Mets …

  • EricR

    So long Scott, we hardly knew ye.

  • conysdad

    Is it possible that the FO uses the savings in a deal like this to apply to more IFAs or are they really trying to acquire more pool money? ie: Take whatever is left on Hairston’s deal minus the 500k and use it on another prospect or two?

    I just don’t see much point in trading Hairston unless they’re getting something of value. The only incentives to move him would be to save money, apply the money elsewhere or take an overpayment for him. It doesn’t make much sense that they’d want to save the money and it definitely doesn’t make any sense that the Nats would overpay.

    I don’t even know.

  • Rich H

    The timing of this trade is strange. We are down 3 outfielders right now and then trade a 4th. With the way we had not seen Hairston for a week or so on that West Coast trip I wonder if he did something to get himself pushed out the door.

    • Cub2014

      What did Hairston do? He is hot so the
      Cubs traded him while he has value. They
      Can replace him next year pretty easily

      • Rich H

        The timing of this tells me that is not the case. If he was hot and they traded him I could understand but he did not play from June 23 till July 5th. It took Bogo going down for him to even get a whiff of action. So to me this smells of a I am done with you type trade.

        • Cheese Chad

          He has hit a couple BIG homeruns in the last few days though.

    • http://www.wavesoftalent.webs.com tim815

      Philly is facing Washington this week. Trotting out three lefty SPs.

      I’m guessingv Brian Rauh, an 11th Rounder in 2012. Starting and WP for Potomac on Sunday. The Cubs might want to know his arm is fine today, seeing as they kicked in 500 K for quality.

  • fromthemitten

    I figure this means they might hold onto DeJesus through the offseason

  • Jp3

    Obviously who takes his spot on 25 man roster?

    • baldtaxguy

      I do not see an obvious choice. Jackson is hurt. Lake? Unless there is a comittment to playing time until DeJesus is back, not likely. Maybe they carry a limited bench and bring up another reliever.

      • Melrosepad

        Since it cleared a 40 man slot I’d say a middle infielder from Iowa like Donnie Murphy or Maysonet if he wasn’t on the DL currently.

        • fromthemitten

          JEFF FRANCOUER

          • Jp3

            As someone who lives in Atlanta, please no on Francouer… I finally got to stop hearing about him when he left the Braves, please no more “if he could just put it all together” pondering

            • fromthemitten

              We don’t need him to “put it all together” he plays great defense and can provide some pop and belly fire off the bench

              • Jp3

                That’s a great time to bring out the belly-fire quote, made me laugh😀. I’m with you on he has some pop off the bench but as a lifetime OBP of .307 I don’t think that’s the type of player the FO looks for, especially because I don’t think his contract is that affordable in comparison to Hairston’s that we just looked desperate to shred.

                • ssckelley

                  He could be signed on a minor league contract, the Royals are on the hook for his contract.

                  • fromthemitten

                    Yup I think he got outright released. I’d rather have him in the majors than Crappelt and he seems like a good clubhouse guy

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    sun times Morrissey has funny article”10 awful things to do rather than watch the Cubs Sox tonight”I link it but I’m technologically challenged lol

  • @cubsfantroy

    It is an interesting deal, to say the least. I didn’t think they would flip him that quick. Wouldn’t this make signing other free agents harder, Brett?

    • Jp3

      I believe youre right, Brett mentioned that yesterday. He made reference to Jose Reyes and flipping him so quick. I do believe there is a difference though, Hairston is a role player and is probably wasn’t told he’s a building block of the future like Reyes was. But you’re right in maybe some FAs will possibly have reservations.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I doubt it has any impact. Because of Hairston’s role (bench guy, signed to be a bench guy), and because it was a two-year deal (not longer), I doubt there’s a ton of “oh, wow, they just ship players right out after signing them to long deals.” This definitely isn’t a Marlins situation.

        • Kenny

          Yeah definitely not the Marlins thing a 5 million dollar context vs Reyes 50 to 60 million long term, btw Scott didn’t do anythung wrong, he came in to be a right handed hitting platoon outfielder, didn’t work well as nl central is righty strong pitching division, if anything cubs did him a favor, look for slot money in this Drago though we haven’t heard this yet. I think this will increase they’re credibility with free agents as they were not playing Scott enough and dealt him to a team with need of the bench for a right handed bat in a pennant race.

    • Chad

      He was similar to Feldman except on a 2 year deal, but he was merely a rental, a platoon guy that the cubs thought could have value in a flip, and wa-la. He was.

  • Cub2014

    Junior Lake in LF Soriano DH tonight?

    • Chad

      NOOOOOOOOOOO! This has been discussed, but if the cubs ever want Lake to be a 3B then he needs time in AAA to play 3B and continue working on his approach. He’s doing pretty well right now, I don’t see a need to rush him up to Chicago on this crappy team. Sept. call up yes, now? No, IMO.

      • Feeney

        I don’t see much wrong with any prospect getting called up for a cup of coffee. I wouldn’t mind if DeJesus is relatively close and Lake is up with the big club for a week or so. Give him a taste. Let him see what it is all about. The travel. The level of competition. Etc Etc. A week of not playing 3B in AAA isn’t going to stunt his growth.

  • EricR

    I’m guessing Lake gets the nod since he’s on the 40 man. Also, I’d be surprised if we didn’t have IFA money coming our way…

  • Deacon

    Opens a spot on the roster (and in the OF) for Francoeur?

  • Kyle

    Bring Lake, I like seeing the prospects play

    • BluBlud

      Me too kyle, but I doubt it happens. I think Lake has plenty enough of minor league at-bats, and i also believe it’s time to make him a major leaguer, but i have a feeling we won’t be excited by the guy who ends up taking his spot. It’s probably going to be Brad Nelson, Donnie Murphey or Darnell McDonald. Ugh.

      • ssckelley

        Murphy is an infielder, Nelson is a firstbaseman, and McDonald has been horrible. I would think the Cubs would bring in another outfielder who would be easy to send back down, Ty Wright comes to mind. A good organization guy who does not have to be waived in order to send him back down.

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        You’re probably right. But, Lake gives more versatility against lefties because he can play OF, too. Infuse with youth…not anymore retreads, PUHLEASE!!!

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Agreed. If Lake is in the lineup, I’ll go out of my way to watch the game. If it is Murph, meh. Lake is doing well…let’s see how he responds!

      • BluBlud

        You know, Lake does have a 6 game hit streak going, with 12B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 3BB and only 4 So in 23 AB, and 26 PA. Maybe they wanna see what he can do.

        • Jp3

          I’m usually against this type of promotion but as long as he’s in the lineup almost everyday I’m fine with it. Just don’t bring him up and sit him 4 days a week, that would be the worst thing to do for his development.

          • Chad

            This and I think he needs more time at 3B. If the cubs think he’s going to be a super utility guy, or possibly the 3B of the future, then he needs as many defensive reps as he can get at 3B.

  • mudge

    Brett, correction, it’s “complement” not ” compliment” here.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks. The following is a fine distinction, but that there was a “typo” as opposed to me misusing the words, in case anyone wondered. I definitely know the difference to anyone else who is annoyed by that kind of imprecision (as I am).

      • Rich H

        Its ok Brett I do it all the time and normally takes another set of eyes to figure out what I have done because I seem to read it like I meant and not what I wrote.

      • BT

        Their was no doubt in my mind you new what you were doing.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Heh. Nice.

  • Gcheezpuff

    Maybe they are making room on the 40 man for a bigger deal… Garza?

    • Jp3

      I like this idea, when is Garza’s next start? I’d like to think if there is a bidding war for him and some team is willing to pay a hefty price they’ll likely want to get the most starts possible from him.

      • Rich H

        His next start is tonight. So maybe today he gets traded but I do not think the two are connected.

        • Jp3

          You’re probably right in there is no connection. It will be interesting though that every time he has a start the chatter about each one will be has he started his last game as a cub. It’s just going to get louder and louder especially since Nolasco is off the table.

          • Rich H

            IF the person brought up or put on the 40 is a starting pitcher then you may be on to something as far as Garza movement. You know bring up a kid just in case and wait to see if you have to sit Garza because he is on the way out.

  • Die hard

    Every OF in minors to be moved up to make room for Bryant?

  • Sam K

    It’s not gonna be Lake or any other prospect.

    It will be a McDonald type…

    1) why move lake up when DeJesus is coming back soon? Lake will have nowhere to play…

    2) you have to add someone to the 40-man…who is it gonna be? Not gonna be a prospect before he is needed 2 actually be on there.

  • Die hard

    Will Sweeney and DeJesus be next?

    • Jp3

      Doubt it. Will Dejesus even come off the DL before the trade deadline? I don’t want to trade Sweeney because his hair is awesome and we’d get next to nothing for him much like Hairston…

      • Chad

        Sweeney is DL for like 60 days, so who would want him? And the cubs won’t give him a way, plus he might get a few year deal on the cheap from the cubs for next year and I wouldn’t hate that (Iowa-represent). Dejesus has a club option and he would be fine to keep around. Maybe trade next year, but at the same time you can’t trade everyone.

        • Jp3

          Trade all the players!! Actually I don’t think you can trade a player while they’re on the DL, someone correct me if I’m wrong

          • BT

            You can. Peavy was on the DL when the White Sox traded for him.

      • cub4life

        I believe DeJesus will be back just before and Sweeney went on the 60 day on the 30th (i think) so he wont be back til late aug early sept at the earliest.

        As for Lake I say don’t bring him up because he won’t play much, I say McDonald or Murphy and when DeJesus comes back maybe waving them or going with another pitcher (how do the guys on the DL look?)

      • ssckelley

        Keep in mind trades can happen in August as well.

    • Rich H

      If we are lucky Sweeney is back by August. He is on the 60 day remember. I think any trade now will be about value on return from Garza.Like if we get an almost ready run producer that plays the outfield maybe we move DeJesus then. Right now if we start trading all our outfielders we are going to be playing guys from AA ball just to field a team.

      • Jp3

        Yeah AA ball!!!! We’d actually have some talent on our major league team!😀 Szczur come on down!

        • Rich H

          OB guys without much pop in the minors scare me. I do think that Szczur is ready for a challenge though.

  • cubchymyst

    This likely means Sappelt is up for good now.

  • BPaoni

    Anyone wonder if maybe a bigger trade is afoot here? Kinda like how the Clevenger trade surprised us all when Feldman was included….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The teams involved would make sense, but there has been no inkling of a larger deal by the guys reporting the trade. Not even a hint of possibility. I’m sure the Cubs and Nats have talked about other pieces, though (i.e., Garza, as noted yesterday).

  • Frank F.

    I have to assume that this is mostly about the international slot $ and the pitcher will be some equivalent of Hunter Cervenka.

    As for the call up, I really don’t get Donnje Murphy. He’s basically Brent Lillibridge. Junior Lake would be the most appealing option-and there’d be plenty of playing time for him. However, I understand if they don’t feel he’s ready after just a mont or so at AAA.

    This brings me to Logan Watkins. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be anything more than a Brent Lillibridge or Donnie Murphy. However, whatever he is, he can be so well into the future, and once a team has started backing up the truck-which we seem to have done, the time has come to start auditioning guys who can potentially be of use in the future. While Watkins wouldn’t get the PT he does in Iowa, he’d get a decent amount, and seeing as his future is likely as a super sub or utility guy, he really doesn’t need to play every day.

  • James

    Do we know who the Cubs are calling up to replace Hairston on the roster. I .would be interested to see if it is a pitcher being called up. I would think in that case a Matt Garza deal might not be to far away. If its a outfielder then I guess we wait awhile longer.

    • James

      I think Matt Garza dosn’t make his start tonight. I think the Cubs are close to dealing him. Everybody keeps talking about Texas were Garza will end up. Don’t count out the Diamondbacks as place were Garza ends up. Big trades are coming early this year then they did last year. I think the Diamondbacks make a move just to keep up with the Dodgers.

  • jh03

    I’d like to see the Cubs start packaging these guys, especially someone like DeJesus, with bigger names in order to get a bigger return. I think a Garza/DeJesus package would get a lot more than separate Garza & DeJesus deals would.

    • Rich H

      The more major league players in a trade equals more moving parts. That is why you do not see many multiple player/team trades midseason. All it takes is one hit to the shin with a foul ball to screw up all the parts of a trade.

  • Die hard

    Sweeney the face and DeJesus the soul of the Cubs– yea keep em

  • Stinky Pete

    I hope the Cubs get Mooneyham from the Nationals. Simply because his name is Mooneyham.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Change is good. And the Cubs have been busy beavers lately. Like PR people say, they are dominating the MLB 24-hr news cycle. Not even resting on the Sunday.

    Even minor deals created the buzz of them doing something to rebuild ASAP.

    22 more days to ship out 4-6 ballplayers, sign no. 2 Bryant, and pull up those who need a new challenge. Let’s get’r done!

  • TonyP

    The minor league pitcher headed to the #Cubs for Scott Hairston is Ivan Pineyro, according to @JonHeymanCBS

    • ssckelley

      Not a bad return.

  • fromthemitten

    Ivan Pineyro is the pitcher named in the deal… not sure his ranking but his numbers look good on paper

    • cms0101

      He’s a top 30 prospect from the National’s system. Very nice.

  • Rich H

    I do not know if he was ranked in Washington’s prospect list but he seems to have solid numbers and consistently hits between 90-94 with a solid change scouts say he has an advanced feel for pitching. Seems to me our scouts saw something to like in the kid.

  • Pingback: Report: Ivan Pineyro is the Pitching Prospect Headed to Cubs in Scott Hairston Deal | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • Larry

    So far the Cubs have lost Feldman, Marmol, Camp, & Hairston with the only to hurt them being Feldman. Whenwhile they gained 2 relievers who have had real positive impact on the BP, know its a small sample, but in the short term it looks like the Cubs have done real well with their trades.

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