by Daniel Gettinger

Following their trade for Scott Hairston, the Padres decided to double down on Hairston’s and sign his brother Jerry.

Jerry Hairston is one of the more versatile players in baseball, capable of playing every position on the field, and seemingly doing so pretty well.  Over his career, Hairston has an above average UZR at every position except for SS and 3B.  Of course, he does not have enough innings logged at some of those positions (including 3B and SS) to really be sure about his defensive ability at particular positions.  Overall though, he appears to be a very good fielder who can at least hold his own at any position.

Fielding and versatility is what keeps Hairston in the majors.  With the exception of a flukey 2008 campaign with the Reds, Hairston has been a below average hitter.  He projects to be a below average hitter in 2010 as well, with the projection systems on fangraphs pegging him to be between 4 and 5 runs below average in about 340 plate appearances.

Hairston signed a 1-year $2.12 million deal.  His solid fielding and versatility should help the Padres, but he is unlikely to greatly outperform his salary.  While the signing makes sense, it is tough to get too excited about the addition of a weak hitting utility player.