- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Washington Nationals have traded utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league outfielder Erik Komatsu.

ESPN’s Chris Singleton first reported the deal.

Signed to a one-year, $2 million contract last winter, Hairston split time between five positions. That included 44 games at third base while Ryan Zimmerman was sidelined with an abdominal injury.

Hairston, 35, hit .268 with a .342 on-base percentage over 75 games this season. He was also a steadying influence in the clubhouse and known for his solid defense and strong arm.

In exchange, the Nationals received Double-A outfielder Komatsu. Baseball America ranked Komatsu Milwaukee’s 14th-best prospect.

The Brewers were in need of an infielder after second baseman Rickie Weeks suffered a serious ankle injury Wednesday. He’s expected to be out from three-to-six weeks.

Hairston’s departure leaves Rick Ankiel as the only capable center fielder on the Nationals’ roster, indicating the team might be lining up the long-rumored move for a full-time center fielder.

The Times reported a week ago that Minnesota’s Denard Span has been high on the Nationals’ list of trade targets, and Tampa Bay’s B.J. Upton has also been widely reported as a possibility.

The Nationals haven’t confirmed the corresponding 25-man roster move. Infielder Brian Bixler, who has also spent time in the outfield, is the likely candidate to be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse.



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