Nats make deal, acquire outfielder Hairston from Cubs
Veteran righty power hitter should provide Washington with depth off bench
PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson were looking for a veteran, right-handed bat to add to their bench. They found one in Scott Hairston.
The Nationals acquired Hairston, an outfielder, from the Cubs on Monday, and in return they dealt Minor League right-hander Ivan Pineyro. Hairston, 33, brings with him 10 years of Major League experience as well as a .268 career average and .818 OPS against lefties.
"That's the move we were waiting to make," said Rizzo, Washington's general manager. "We felt good about the left-handed side of our bench, and just wanted a little bit more pop on the right side, a guy who can handle some left-handed pitching."
Hairston hit just .172 in 52 games with the Cubs, but managed to hit eight homers in 99 at-bats. Hairston is a .244 lifetime hitter, and Johnson said he remembers Hairston hitting a few homers against his teams.
The Nationals manager added Hairston is "the kind of player we need."
"We have a pretty set lineup, but we need a veteran presence on the bench, not some youngster," Johnson said. "And he knows pitchers and he knows what he needs to do to be able to hit."
Hairston comes from a family with a rich baseball history, and Washington is the sixth different stop in his Major League career. Due to some travel issues, Hairston was a little late arriving to Philadelphia, where the Nationals opened a four-game series Monday. Tyler Moore was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Hairston.
Johnson did not have Hairston in the lineup Monday, but said he planned on giving him a start against the Phillies, whom Hairston has had success against during his career. Hairston has a .307 batting average and 12 homers in 45 games against Philadelphia, and has a .400 average, five homers and five doubles against Cole Hamels, Tuesday's starter.
Rizzo said the Nationals had been in talks with the Cubs for a few weeks, but it was no coincidence the deal got done when it did.
"If we were going to do the deal, we wanted to do the deal at this particular time," Rizzo said.
Moore to work on swing, play every day at Triple-A
PHILADELPHIA -- Tyler Moore is going to get his chance to play every day. He will just be doing so at Triple-A.
Moore was sent down to Syracuse after the Nationals picked up Scott Hairston from the Cubs on Monday. Moore, 26, was hitting just .151, and his 0-for-4 performance Sunday was his first action since June 28.
Both manager Davey Johnson and general manager Mike Rizzo said they think the outfielder/first baseman can eventually play every day at the Major League level, but he needs to work on his swing first.
"[The Hairston trade] allowed us to move Tyler Moore back to the Minor Leagues to get some at-bats," Rizzo said. "We still think that he's got the potential and the ceiling to be an everyday first baseman. And he needs to play."
Moore saw significant time in the first two months of the season, but appeared in just seven games since June 1. Last season, Moore hit .263 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs in 75 Major League games.
"He was very successful last year, not really knowing what he was all about," Johnson said. "But this year, they have a better idea on how to pitch him, and he doesn't know the pitchers as well. So, that makes it much more difficult. He just needs to play. He's in my mind an everyday player."
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.