Pirates reach out to Hairston, Cabrera
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The Pirates have inquired about two more free agents, super-utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. and pitcher Daniel Cabrera.
Hairston, 32, is coming off a career-best season with the Cincinnati Reds in which he batted .326 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 80 games, this after having made the team in spring training off a $500,000 minor league contract. His .384 on-base percentage was well above his career figure of .330 and towered above his 2007 figure of .249.
He can play any position in the infield or outfield, including shortstop, where he spent 34 games with the Reds this past season.
The Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and three American League teams have been linked to Hairston this offseason.
Cabrera, 27, is a right-handed flame-thrower, but he comes with a terribly erratic history of control, which prompted the Baltimore Orioles to non-tender him Friday and allow him to become a free agent. He was 8-10 with a 5.25 ERA while making $2,875,000 this past season, with 90 walks and 95 strikeouts in 180 innings. He led Major League Baseball with 18 hit batsmen, including two Pirates on June 15 at Camden Yards.
Cabrera's agent, Mike Powers, said last night that 11 teams -- including the Pirates -- had contacted him since the non-tender and that he expects that high number of options to create an aggressive process. That means it could take a multiyear contract to sign Cabrera, which might be too much of a risk for the Pirates to take, especially given management's new emphasis on cutting down walks.
First Published December 16, 2008 12:00 am