Re: Jerry Hairston Jr.
A good team would have Hairston (and Keppinger for that matter, too) as a strong bench player, a guy that you can count on to make your team more versatile, fill in where needed, pinch run or play defense late in games. A smart player- and as mentioned above, an excellent baserunner.
Not as a starter. Not batting lead-off. A 2 year contract and counting on him for anything more than bench strength would be foolish; it's not what winning teams do.
I tip my cap to Hairston- he's been a lot of fun to watch this year and he's playing the best baseball of his life right now. By all means, sign him up for a one year extension, but do not promise him a starting spot, and do tell him he'll be playing wherever they need him to be- just like this year.
JH is playing well because he feels good for the first time in at least 3 years. He's not getting any younger, and his back problems have been chronic. They absolutely will be a problem for him again in the future. The Reds need to protect themselves to be sure it's not their problem as well.