Originally Posted by Fullboat
He could be Freel's replacement with more playing time.
And there's the rub: if we can find a taker for Freel, then we can (in good conscience) extend Hairston.
But if we can't unload Freel, then we can't take the chance of having the same mistake on the roster twice. Especially when you add in the fact that Keppinger is, in many ways, essentially the third head on our current Three-Headed Super-Sub Monster, and is younger and cheaper than the other two.
We're ALL loving Hairston and it's because he's single-handedly solved our Lead-Off Conundrum. But it's worth noting that -- in seasons where he has played 100 games or gotten 300 ABs -- Hairston's previous best OBP was .336 (with a career OBP of .329 and that INCLUDES this year's amazing tear).
Meantime: the LOWEST OBP posted by Freel in a season of 100 games/300ABs is .363 (career .357). Keppinger has never had a 100 game/300AB season, but is OBP'ing .361 for his young career.
Two no-pop, 85-ish OPS+, right-handed supersubs/platoon guys would be perfectly fine for a well-constructed bench. Three no-pop, sub-100 OPS+, RH supersubs is one too many. And to me, that's still what Hairston is (not a guaranteed everyday player), which makes his future with the Reds totally dependent on moves made with other similar players on our roster, one of whom is under an over-priced contract and one of whom is dirt cheap for another year or two.