As the deadline approaches, the Padres traded another reliever–this time a minor leaguer–to acquire outfielder Scott Hairston from the Diamondbacks. Arizona received righthander Leo Rosales in the exchange, which marked the first-ever trade between the NL West rivals.
The Big Leaguer
Though he filled many roles in his seven years in the Diamondbacks organization, Hairston always has hit. The 2001 third-round pick from Central Arizona Junior College hit a robust .322/.401/.571 in 1,806 minor league at-bats–though his big league batting success has been limited to hitting well against lefthanders only. In fact, the righthanded-hitting Hairston, 27, is a career .276/.325/.481 hitter against major league lefties. Drafted as a second baseman, Hairston remained at that position until 2004, the year of his first big league callup. Because he was far from a natural at the keystone–and devoted more attention to hitting, anyway–the Diamondbacks shifted Hairston to the outfield in 2005. His first destination was center field, but he lacked a center fielder’s instincts, so left field became his home.
Rosales, 26, was a workhorse starter at Cal State Northridge, but his pro career has been spent almost exclusively in the bullpen, where he’s thrived. With just an average 89-91 mph fastball, Rosales has made hay with his plus-plus changeup, a pitch that got serious attention in our PCL Best Tools survey. Rosales, the Padres’ 20th-round selection in 2003, also throws a slider, but his violent mechanics contribute to spotty overall command.
The Padres lacked a true righthanded power threat on their lefty-heavy bench, so it’s easy to see where Hairston, who led the PCL in slugging percentage in 2006, fits in. (San Diego also dropped Russell Branyan and added Shea Hillenbrand on a minor league deal.) On the flip side, Hairston made Arizona‘s Opening Day roster largely because he was out of options, and he simply hasn’t gotten it going this year, hitting just .222/.301/.358. He also had a knack for getting injured just as the Diamondbacks seemed ready to give him an extended look. Rosales, meanwhile, will join the Triple-A Tucson disabled list, where he will continue to rehab a broken right hand. When healthy, he could add a different look to the Diamondbacks’ hard-throwing bullpen corps.