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Rumor Mill: Cardinals still in on Hairston

Although the Mets are still the favorite to retain Scott Hairston, the Cardinals remain in the mix to potentially sign the veteran outfielder.

Hairston told ESPN that he expects to sign soon -- and made it clear that he wants a multi-year contract.

A .269 hitter with 20 home runs last season in New York, Hairston had only a .299 on base percentage in 398 plate appearances. He walked 19 times last year while striking out 82 times. He's a career .247 hitter with a .302 on base percentage over nine seasons in the big leagues.

Those numbers leave a bit to be desired. But Hairston isn't a starter, so that could explain some of the inconsistency. What he brings to the table is a power threat in the order when spelling an "everyday" player. And that's especially helpful to the Cardinals because he can play all three outfield spots.

St. Louis has outfielders well past the age of 30 playing both corners and a lefty playing centerfield. So it's easy to see how Hairston, a righty batter, could find plenty of playing time at Busch Stadium.