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Odds and Ends – Nats in on Jerry Hariston Jr., not Chris Young

 - According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Washington Nationals may look to former Baltimore Oriole Jerry Hairston Jr. to replace the hole at the utility position that was created with the departure of Willie Harris to the New York Mets. Ladson writes.

“With Harris gone, the Nats are considering infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr., according to another source. The right-handed-hitting Hairston played with the Padres last year, and he hit .244 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs. He could be insurance if Danny Espinosa falters at second base.”

Many in the Washington D.C. area watched Hairston’s carer blossom in Baltimore, as he became the starting second baseman after Roberto Alomar left town. Hairston drew a lot of comparisons to Alomar with the glove, but not so much with the bat as 5-10 infielder struggled early at the plate. He did improve however, batting .303/.378/.397 in his final year as an Oriole in 2004.

Since his departure, however, Hairston has bounced around not just from team-to-team, but positon to position. In fact, Hairston has at every single position during his 12 year career except pitcher and catcher, and has played for six teams. 

In 2010 Hairston played strong defense at a variety of positions for the San Diego Padres.  He played 62 games at shortstop, 47 at second base, 12 in the outfield and three at third base. It is that versatility that Nats general manager Mike Rizzo is likely hoping to tap from the 35 year old. The Nationals are rebuilding around defense and athleticism, and Jerry Hariston has the versatility in both those categories that few major league players can offer. 

- In another article from Ladson, he writes that the Nationals are not in fact interested in free-agent starting pitcher Chris Young. It had been reported earlier in the week that the Nationals were in play for Young, but that the Mets were the favorite. Ladson however says the Nationals are confident with their rotation:

“Rizzo pointed out that Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and Chien-Ming Wang will be 100 percent healthy, while John Lannan and Yunesky Maya will be more consistent on the mound. Add Livan Hernandez to the mix, the Nationals could have a strong rotation, according to Rizzo.”

Livan Hernandez will reportedly start opening day for the club.  

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