The Cubs continued their summer sell-off Monday by trading outfielder Scott Hairston to the Washington Nationals for minor league pitching prospect Ivan Pineyro.
Hairston, 33, came to the Cubs as a free agent in February, signing a two-year, $5 million deal. He struggled at the plate in a platoon role in right field with Nate Schierholtz. Hairston's hitting line was .172/.232/.434 with 8 home runs and 19 RBI. Seven of the 8 homers came at Wrigley Field and all 8 were against left-handed pitching. He homered twice over the weekend against the Pirates.
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"He's a real pro, and as far as bench guys who can hit lefties, he can hit a homer against a lefty as good as any bench bat in baseball," said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer. "Given the makeup of who we've been playing and the pitching makeup in our division, he hasn't been playing as much as we'd hoped, and I think this is a good opportunity for Scott and the Nationals to get more playing time. It was a good opportunity for us to get a young pitcher we liked."
Pineyro, 21, has combined to go 6-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 15 starts between Class A Hagerstown and Potomac. He began the season with Hagerstown and went 5-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 13 starts to earn the promotion to high-A, where he went 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 2 starts with Potomac. Between the two stops, Pineyro combined to strike out 72 batters and walk 22 in 772⁄3 innings.
Pineyro was a South Atlantic League all-star before being promoted to Potomac.
The Cubs last week traded reliever Carlos Marmol to the Dodgers. They also dealt pitcher Scott Feldman and minor league catcher-infielder Steve Clevenger to Baltimore.
To replace Hairston on the roster, the Cubs called up left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley from Class AAA Iowa. Raley will go to the bullpen, which was overextended by working 7 innings Sunday. On top of that, Carlos Villanueva came out of the pen to start Sunday's game after being minimally "stretched out" to start again.
"Our bullpen is pretty taxed right now with Villanueva still getting stretched back out," Hoyer said. "We don't want to push those guys too hard. We would like to add another right-handed bat. We'll explore and discuss those options over the next couple days until our bullpen is rested."
The Cubs' 40-man roster stands at 38, so the Cubs have flexibility to add an outfielder who is not on the 40-man. With Brett Jackson on the DL at Iowa, the call could go to Donnie Murphy. He has a line of .261/.343/.459 with 10 homers and 33 RBI at Iowa.