The 2012 MLB Winter Meetings are here, which means that St. Louis Cardinals fans are about to be bombarded by reports of interest in free agents they had not thought about before and probably won't think about again. The first one on my radar is Scott Hairston, lately of the New York Mets, who made $1.1 million last year but is coming off a one of the better seasons of his low-OBP-slugger career. (This comes courtesy Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.)
What does Hairston do? Hit home runs and occasionally play center field. In his two years with the Mets he's hit .255/.300/.495, with 27 home runs in 509 at-bats. For the Cardinals he's also interesting because he's right-handed, with a career left-hander platoon split of .276/.325/.500; he could be a nice complement to Jon Jay in addition to backing up Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, and Carlos Beltran at the corners.
But the Cardinals aren't an optimal landing spot for Hairston, who got nearly 400 at-bats last season; with Matt Adams at first base and Oscar Taveras in the outfield, Hairston would be unlikely to wrangle a starting job on the team in the event of an extended absence from one of the sluggers he's backing up.