SAN FRANCISCO -- It speaks to the volatility of the last month that on a conference call to discuss his inaction at Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson expected to explain why the Mets did not acquire a reliever. Instead, he was peppered with questions of why the Mets did not trade away outfielder Scott Hairston.
"We were not going to move players simply to move them," Alderson said. "We were not looking for some small, incremental improvement in the overall player development situation. If we were going to get a quality player, then we would strongly consider doing something as a 'seller.' But absent a strong effort by another club, we weren't going to simply make a move just to make a move."
Though teams including the Tigers, Giants, Braves and Rangers were all searching for a right-handed bat, Alderson indicated that no club was willing to give up even a top-30 organizational prospect for Hairston, a pending free agent who is hitting .307 with nine home runs and a .606 slugging percentage in 127 at-bats against lefties.
As a result, Hairston was back in the visiting clubhouse Tuesday at AT&T Park, playing left field.
"I admit I didn't sleep as good as I thought I would last night," Hairston said. "I kept staring at the clock. But I'm just excited I'm still here."
In the weeks prior to Tuesday's Deadline, with a Wild Card berth still within their grasp, the Mets initially considered acquiring a reliever to bolster their 30th-ranked bullpen. But 13 losses in their first 15 games after the All-Star break made that plan less appealing.
The Mets were left with only one legitimate Trade Deadline option: to trade Hairston, their most useful free-agent-to-be. But without any real need to shed payroll, Alderson placed more value on winning as many games as possible in 2012 than on acquiring a marginal prospect for one of his most productive bench bats.
"I'm not sure we ever totally changed course," Alderson said. "If you go back and review the chronology of the last month, you realize that things changed pretty rapidly from just before the All-Star break and certainly right after the All-Star break, until just the last four or five days. So in terms of being aggressively buying for 2012, certainly things changed during that period of time -- and very swiftly."
As for Hairston, the Mets have yet to explore a contract extension beyond 2012, even if both sides appear amenable to it.
"If Sandy would like to talk to me and my agent about that, I'm really open to that," said Hairston, who signed a one-year, $1.1-million deal prior to this season. "But I'm sure all of that is going to take care of itself. My job is to go out and play."
Torres, Bay dealing with injuries
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Mets had only three healthy outfielders on their roster for Tuesday's game against the Giants, due to injuries to Jason Bay and Andres Torres.
Torres, who injured his right thumb during Monday's first-base collision with Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, underwent an X-ray -- which came up negative -- and an MRI. The tests were being sent to New York for review, with manager Terry Collins suspecting ligament damage for Torres.
Bay's injury was less serious. The outfielder fouled a ball off his left shin, which swelled up overnight. Collins did not rule out using either player in Tuesday's game, though Torres said he could not swing.
"I believe it's more the tendons and ligaments than it is the bone," Collins said.
With those two absent, the Mets proceeded Tuesday with an outfield alignment of Scott Hairston in left field, Jordany Valdespin in center and Mike Baxter in right.
Wright out of the lineup against Lincecum
SAN FRANCISCO -- David Wright had a choice: Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain. Wright chose Cain.
When Terry Collins approached his third baseman to tell him he would be receiving a routine off-day at some point on this 11-game road trip, Wright told his manager to choose the day. Collins narrowed it down to Tuesday's matchup against the struggling Lincecum or Wednesday's meeting with Cain, the National League's All-Star starter.
Aware of his 2-for-19 career performance with 11 strikeouts against Lincecum, Wright chose Cain -- despite the fact that Cain is the pitcher who beaned him in the head with a fastball in 2009. Wright is 9-for-21 with five doubles off the right-hander.
Wright ended up facing Lincecum as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday, and he struck out with the bases loaded and the Mets trailing, 3-1, for the final out in the seventh inning.
"He kills Cain," Collins said. "We just decided today would be a good day for him, so we chose today."