Nats deal Hairston for outfield prospect
Komatsu named Brewers' Minor League Player of Year in 2010
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals continue to make changes before Sunday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, trading infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. to the Brewers on Saturday for Minor League outfielder Erik Komatsu.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson has often said that he wanted young outfield depth in Washington's farm system. In Komatsu, the Nationals get that and more.
Komatsu was Milwaukee's Minor League Player of the Year in 2010, when he hit .323 with five home runs and 63 RBIs for Class A Advanced Brevard County. Komatsu is projected to play center field and become a leadoff hitter.
This year, Komatsu was with Double-A Huntsville, hitting .294 with six home runs, 40 RBIs and a .393 on-base percentage. Komatsu will be assigned to Double-A Harrisburg.
"That's another asset for us. Another great piece to our long-term puzzle," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We have a guy who has great success in his short Minor League career. He was Player of the Year in a great organization like the Milwaukee Brewers, which is nothing to look down upon. This guy has a chance to be a terrific Major League Player in the not-so-distant future."
As for Hairston, he was a quality reserve for Washington, hitting .268 with two home runs and 22 RBIs. He filled in nicely at third base when Ryan Zimmerman missed more than two months due to an abdominal strain.
The deal marks the second time this year the Nationals and Brewers have made a trade. During Spring training, Washington traded outfielder Nyjer Morgan to Milwaukee for outfielder Cutter Dykstra.
"Jerry was terrific player for us, a terrific clubhouse influence on us," Rizzo said. "What a true professional he is. He will be missed, especially by me, but his teammates as well. When he was called upon to play, he was ready to play 100 percent. He gives it a great effort every time out. He is a talented player who performs well."
With Hairston gone, the Nationals called up Brian Bixler from Triple-A Syracuse. Bixler will become the backup center fielder, while Rick Ankiel becomes the everyday player in center -- for now.
The Nationals are still trying to acquire either B.J. Upton of the Rays, Denard Span of the Twins or Michael Bourn of the Astros.
Houston wants Major League-ready players for Bourn, while Tampa Bay is looking for a shortstop and catcher. The Twins are looking for a reliever.
"We are still going to be active," Rizzo said. "We are going to be good listeners out there. We are going to do our due diligence on all the things that are possible. There is a possibility that we could do some things, if they make sense for us."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.