Jerry Hairston Jr. Signs On As Nationals Utility Player

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Jerry Hairston Jr. Signs On As Nationals Utility Player

For the most part, the Washington Nationals are satisfied with the group of starting position players they're set to play in 2011. Their bench, however, could use some work, and for that reason, the team has signed free agent Jerry Hairston Jr. to a one-year contract.

According to Ken Rosenthal, Hairston will receive a base salary of $2 million, with incentives that could push it up to $3 million. Hairston earned $2.125 million a year ago with the Padres. He has already taken his physical, meaning this deal is essentially official.

The 34-year-old Hairston has been a steady player since breaking into the Majors in the late 90s, and has batted .266 over the last three seasons with the Reds, Padres, and Yankees. He makes contact, he hits for a fair amount of power, he has passable footspeed, and - most importantly - he's capable of playing most any position on the diamond. With the Nationals, he should spend most of his time spelling the members of the infield, and there's no reason to believe that he won't be among the better utility guys in the game. For a bench player, there are few things he doesn't do well.

For more on the move, check out Federal Baseball.

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