That's my quickie-analysis on the acquisition of Scott Hairston, the wisdom of which really cannot be argued until the PTBNL is revealed. Said player is apparently in the Jehovah's Witness Protection Program throughout July. So rather than focusing on whether the A's gave up too little, just the right amount, or too much (note to self: write a children's story titled Goldilocks and the Three Hairstons), let's just zoom in on how much or little Scott Hairston will help the A's.
Hairston is not an impact player in that he has a rather large platoon split (.291/.344/.548 vs. LHP, .235/.295/.419 vs. RHP), and so many of the league's pitchers insist on throwing with their right hand. He has also never had as many as 350 ABs in a season. So while he figures to help the A's a lot against LHP, much of the time he will be a bit Ryan Sweeney like: a good defensive corner OFer, a decent defensive CFer, and a guy who gets on base 30% of the time but has the promise of some power. The differences? Hairston has shown that power, and the pitchers he hits well, lefties, are the ones no one else on the A's can hit well.
The first thing to consider: If Hairston plays every day, even though he is not good against RHP he will increase the A's overall slugging and that is the area where the A's most need a boost. Perhaps the A's can reconvince Jack Cust (i.e., themselves) to walk more and let other guys, like Hairston, walk little but drive the ball some. Personally, I like the idea of Cust batting #2 and Hairston #3 more than the idea of Cust batting #5 or #6 and swinging more, walking less.
The second thing to consider: Ryan Sweeney's career line against RHP is currently .290/.341/.394. Put that with Hairston's .291/.344/.548 and you have a CFer with a line of around .290/.342/.440 (estimating 70% of the starts by RHP). It's an upgrade, and then Hairston and Buck can fight it out for who starts against RHP.
The concern? The PTBNL could be Gallagher, and the odd man out could be Buck. In that scenario, not only will the A's have given up a fair amount to get a guy who only hits great against 30% of the league, but it will look like Oakland has discarded two talented non-gratas, validating the "doghouse conspiracy theories" that have, well, dogged Mr. Beane and his Best Man since Spring Training.
But at the moment, not yet knowing what the A's have given up and knowing that what they got mashes LHP and is pretty much Sweeney with a tad more power against RHP? I still like the deal, because the A's need to get better against LHP, they need more guys who can drive the ball, and as Cindi points out, "The guy's name starts with 'Hair'!!! how bad can he be?"