The New York Mets and free-agent outfielder Scott Hairston have moved past the courting stage and have begun making formal offers.
The Mets have rejected Hairston's initial two-year asking price and countered with a lowball one-year bid of their own, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
An industry source confirmed the Mets have rejected Scott Hairston’s asking price of two years and $8 million. It is believed the Mets countered with a one-year offer worth $2 million, leaving the two sides at a stalemate in negotiations.
The source also informed Sherman that the reason the club is being so careful in their discussions with Hairston is because of the way they have been burned in other recent dealings (see: Oliver Perez, Endy Chavez, Ramon Castro).
Hairston earned just $1.1 million with the Mets last year and is probably best served as a platoon player, so New York is probably wise to refrain from a multi-year commitment.
It is believed that Hairston will come to a decision on where he suit up for 2013 by the end of this week. The Mets are thought to be competing with the Yankees, Braves, and Phillies for his services, though no word has emerged from any of those three camps regarding Hairston for some time.