The Washington Times - July 7, 2013, 11:52PM

The Washington Nationals made a move to bolster their bench with a veteran right-handed bat by acquiring Scott Hairston from the Chicago Cubs late Sunday night. They will also receive a player to be named in the deal.

The Nationals will send 21-year-old right-hander Ivan Pineyro to the Cubs, along with a player to be named, in exchange for Hairston.


Hairston is signed through the 2014 season for $2.5 million per season and his history against left-handed pitching is likely why the Nationals moved to add him to their roster. 

The 33-year-old has an .813 OPS against left-handed pitching over the course of his 10-year major league career. But this season, in limited playing time (he’s appeared in just 52 games), Hairston has hit just .172 with eight home runs overall, and has just a .169 average against left-handers.

Still, the Nationals obviously feel that he is more suited to the bench than some of the younger players they have currently filling those roles.

The primary candidate for Hairston to take playing time, and perhaps a roster spot, from is Tyler Moore, who serves as the Nationals’ main right-handed bat off the bench and outfield reserve. 

Moore is hitting just .151 in 106 at-bats this season and the Nationals, who still view him as an everyday player, could choose to option him back to Triple-A so he could get at-bats.

Manager Davey Johnson has said on multiple occasions how much he dislikes having younger players serve in bench roles, but the success of players like Moore and Steve Lombardozzi in 2012 led the Nationals to believe they would be adequate again this season. 

Hairston does not play first base, but Chad Tracy could become the Nationals’ primary backup there if indeed Moore is the one removed from the active roster as a result. The Nationals have an open spot on their 40-man roster so no move would be required to fit him in there.

Hairston’s contract also fits him into the mold of the type of player general manager Mike Rizzo likes to acquire, in that he is not a one-year rental player. Hairston was also drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 when Rizzo was the scouting director there. reported that the Cubs would be sending a small amount of money to the Nationals to cover some of Hairston’s 2014 salary. Messages left with Nationals officials seeking comment were not immediately returned. 

The timing of this move could be deliberate on the part of the Nationals, as the team is set to open a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies by facing three straight left-handed starters in John Lannan, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.

In his career, Hairston is a .307 hitter against the Phillies with a .348 on-base percentage and a .677 slugging percentage. 

Pineyro, who is from the Dominican Republic, began the season in Single-A Hagerstown but was recently promoted to Single-A Potomac. In Hagerstown, Pineyro posted 65 strikeouts in 66 innings, to go along with 17 walks and a 3.14 ERA. In two starts with Potomac, he is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.