C Trent is reporting that the Reds have signed OF Corey Patterson and IF Jerry Hairston Jr. to minor league contracts.
From C. Trent:
Both players played for Dusty Baker with the Cubs. Patterson from 2003-05 and Hairston in 2005-06.
Patterson was traded by the Cubs to the Orioles prior to the 2006 season, Hairston was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers in the 2006 season.
Last season Patterson had an OBP of .304, and his career OBP is .298. Ryan Freel had a career-worst OBP of .308 last season and for his career his OBP is .358.
Not sure I fully understand Krivsky’s thinking in signing a guy like Patterson. You have two guys (Freel and Hopper) who can both hit leadoff and play CF (And as C. Trent noted, Freel has a much higher OBP than Patterson. You also have “The Next Big Thing” vying for the starting CF job.
I guess competition is good and it’s only a minor league contract, but it’s one more guy who Baker will have to find playing time for this spring. I would have liked to see Bruce get the majority of playing time in CF to see if he’s ready (though maybe him tweaking his quad changed some plans), but it kind of sounds like the Reds are planning on having him start the year in Louisville. I see Patterson maybe making the team as an extra outfielder if Bruce is in AAA and I see Hairston joining Bruce in AAA.