Last night, via the Home Plate channel’s Jim Bowden who spoke with Jerry Hairston Jr., we were told that the Yankees had not offered J-Hair a contract because they are waiting for Johnny Damon’s price to drop. However, the information was reported through Twitter and was influenced by a tweet’s character limitations (140 or less), preventing us from reading what Hairston actually said. Here’s a transcript to clarify (props to Andrew Fitzpatrick for emailing this to me):
Host/Jim Bowden: “I have to ask you this, and it’s a two part question: Did the Yankees make you an offer and the second part, did you sign with San Diego after [your brother] Scott was traded and was that part of the reason?”
Jerry Hairston Jr.: “You know what, to answer your first question, the Yankees didn’t officially make an offer. We’d been talking with them for about a month or two months and, um, they were kinda, I guess, waiting for a certain left fielder’s price to come down. That’s what I was gathering. (Laughs) I know Brian [Cashman]’s going to really love me for saying that. But that’s the sense I had and more power to ‘em. You know, obviously Brian has a job to do and Johnny Damon’s an incredible ballplayer. But obviously at that time I said, ‘You know what? I need to do what’s best for me.’ And the best fit for me was in San Diego. That’s a young team but they’re looking for players with some speed, athleticism that can play in that ballpark and I was looking to sign there anyway and then, icing on the cake, having Scott get traded over there it definitely makes it that much sweeter.”
After reviewing Hairston’s comments, it seems as though he was merely making an assumption regarding what the Yankees were doing. Notice how he says, “That’s what I was gathering,” and then adds but “that’s the sense I had,” which essentially indicates as much. There was no explicit evidence or information that he could draw upon to substantiate his claims other than the fact that the Yankees did not offer him a contract, and, obviously, that could have occurred for a number of reasons (perhaps the club intends to spend its remaining budget – $2 million, according to Joel Sherman – on an outfielder with a better bat like Reed Johnson or Rocco Baldelli). Thus, after reading Hairston’s Damon claim in full, Brian Cashman’s subsequent response to the rumor – a denial of course – seems to be a believable one (at least to some degree).
Still, despite Cashman’s denial, Hairston’s assumption is certainly plausible. We’ll just have to wait and see…
Photo by Reuters
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