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Monday, January 7, 2013
Yankees, Mets vie for Hairston

By Wallace Matthews

Scott Hairston
Will Scott Hairston end up in the Bronx, Queens ... or somewhere else?
It appears that the bidding for free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston mainly involves two teams: The Yankees and the Mets.

According to Casey Close, Hairston's agent, talks are continuing with both teams and Hairston expects to make a decision about where he will play in 2013 in "a matter of days."

A Met for the past two seasons, Hairston had the best year of his career in 2012, batting .263 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. He played 131 games in the outfield for the Mets, most of them in left-field.

"I think he's a good fit for either team," Close said. "But there are different roles at each place and Scott is deciding which is the best option for him."

It is expected that if Hairston returns to the Mets, he will play every day, while with the Yankees he will start out as a backup to left-fielder Brett Gardner and rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki. And he is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal, which could be a hang-up for the Yankees, who have shied away from multi-year deals this off-season due to the $189 million payroll limit for 2014 imposed by owner Hal Steinbrenner.