M’s Add Bill Hall
The M’s have added another former Brewer, going back to the old stomping grounds to get Bill Hall from Milwaukee. The Brewers DFA’d him last week, and the M’s are shipping minor league reliever Ruben Flores to the Brewers in exchange for Hall. The Brewers are picking up practically all of the remaining ~$10 million on his contract for this year and 2010.
Hall’s numbers aren’t good – .201/.265/.341 this year after a .225/.293/.396 season last year was enough for the Brewers to throw in the towel. He’s right-handed, he strikes out a lot, and when the line drives aren’t falling for hits, he doesn’t have much offensive value. However, he still plays a pretty mean third base, and I have a feeling the M’s will give him a look back at his old position of shortstop to see if he can handle a utility infielder role with the club next year.
If the M’s can get him straightened out, he could be a nice piece. He’s a talented player – extremely athletic, can play a bunch of positions, hits the ball hard when he makes contact, but his contact problems and general struggles against right-handed pitchers have sunk what looked to be a promising career a couple of years ago.
For the rest of this year, he’ll likely platoon with Hannahan at third while they take a look at him as a utility guy. For next year, his presence on the roster probably means that they’re not bringing Beltre back. They could get by at 3B with a Hannahan/Hall platoon, which saves them enough money to go upgrade another position. There’s some upside to a low cost productive platoon from a couple of good glove guys who have some offensive upside, but it’s also a bit sad that this probably closes the door on Beltre returning to the M’s.
Flores isn’t someone you should worry about giving up, and with the Brewers picking up the salary, it’s a nice buy low move for the M’s. However, if it really does signify that Beltre will be elsewhere next year (like I think it does), then the M’s will have to show that they can spend that money on an upgrade somewhere else (2B? DH? SP?) just as well. In Jack We Trust… but I’ll miss Adrian.