The Bill Hall Rumor Mill

Update: Davidoff not out at Newsday
The Torii Hunter Project

The Brewers are set to announce that they’ve resigned incumbent third baseman and ex-Yankee Mike Lamb, which likely puts Bill Hall out on the trade market. Ken Rosenthal and Ed Price noted that the Yanks have interest in  CC Sabathia‘s close friend (8:44pm post), who would presumably take the role of primary utility man and righty pinch hitter. And I don’t get it.

First off, CC Sabathia’s decision to sign or not sign the Yanks will not be based on Bill Hall’s presence, so don’t even worry about that. Secondly, what exactly makes Bill Hall so desirable? Usually when I dig deeper on a player (like Nick Swisher or David DeJesus) I can find some information that the player is undervalued and a viable buy-low candidate, but that’s not the case with Hall.

First off, Hall’s contract is ugly. He’s owed $6.8M in 2009, $8.4M in 2010, then a $9.25M option or $500,000 buyout kicks in for 2010. That’s a lot of cheddar for a bench guy. Secondly, his production has declined for three straight seasons as he entered his prime years. Hall had a monster year in 2006 that landed him that fat contract and Joe a fantasy baseball title (.369 wOBP, 35 HR, 44.3 VORP), but he then dropped down to a .317 wOBP & 6.7 VORP in 2007, and bottomed out with a .297 wOBP & -5.1 VORP this past year. Inconsistent playing time and at-bats off the bench will not sharpen up his production, and he’s already made it known that he doesn’t like being a part-time player.

Hall’s biggest asset is that he’s extremely versatile; he’s spent significant time at short, third, and in centerfield over the last few seasons, and has also seen action at second. However he’s below average at best at each of those spots, with career RZR’s of .838 in center, .723 at third, and .804 at short. That’s not just bad, that’s horrific. Citing Hall’s versatility as a plus is the same as saying Jon Garland is an innings eater, it just means he can suck at more spots.

Granted, Hall would come dirt cheap because of his contract (if the Yanks take on all of that money, they could get him for like, a C-minus prospect) and maybe there’s some bouceback potential because of the change of scenery, but there’s nothing to suggest that. His BABIP has been steady and reasonable, his line drive rate is consistent, and his plate discipline numbers don’t show any significant spikes. There’s just nothing to suggest that his three year decline was a fluke.

Pass on Bill Hall, I’m sure Cody Ransom could approximate his production for 1/17th of the cost. If you want a player on the Brewers and one of CC’s buddy, go for Mike Cameron. It makes so much more sense.

* * *

Just a quick aside: I overheard a Milwaukee writer talking to two other writers not far away from us, he said he’s looking forward to the Yanks signing both CC and Sheets because “then the Brewers would get the Yanks’ two first round picks.” Heh.

Update (1:00pm): I just overheard the guy say he confirmed with Baseball America that the Yanks’ can’t lose the Gerrit Cole pick. That only took two-plus hours.

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Update: Davidoff not out at Newsday
The Torii Hunter Project
  • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

    There’s always a silver lining when losing your two best starters.

  • huuz

    actually they’re wrong. they wouldn’t get our TWO first round picks, they’d get our 1st round pick and our second round pick (unless we sign another FA with a higher Elias rating than sheets).

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I know, that’s what made it funny. I didn’t correct him, I figured I’d be nice to spare him the embarrassment of being corrected by a lowly blogger.

      • radnom

        Have you guys had any interaction so far with any members of the media/front offices?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          The media guys, yeah. We’ve met all of the NY guys – PeteAbe, Davidoff, Kat O’Brien, Bryan Hoch, etc – and chilled out with KLaw for a bit.

          Front office types, not so much. Someone in Cashman’s camp came over and introduced himself because he thought we worked for the Scranton Yanks after seeing my hat, but he split pretty quick after learning that we were just fans. We’ve seen a ton of them though – Cash, Epstein, Colletti, Wren, Scheurholz, Tony Reagins, Tommy Lasorda, Minaya, etc.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            We’ve seen a ton of them though – Cash, Epstein, Colletti, Wren, Scheurholz, Tony Reagins, Tommy Lasorda, Minaya, etc.

            Tommy Lasorda walks around with a feedbag full of spaghetti strapped to his chin, doesn’t he?

            • Mike Pop

              You see any players besides Hunter and MAddux ?

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                No. Apparently Kat O’Brien ran into Giambi last night, so he’s around. She said he lost a ton of weight.

                • Mike Pop

                  Hmm trying to look goood for FA.

    • radnom

      Yes, that was the point of mentioning it, to make fun of him.

      By the way, if you did not know this, but we actually do have two first round picks this year as compensation for Gerrit Cole. That pick can not be lost, however.

  • A.D.

    Just a quick aside: I overheard a Milwaukee writer talking to two other writers not far away from us, he said he’s looking forward to the Yanks signing both CC and Sheets because “then the Brewers would get the Yanks’ two first round picks.” Heh.

    Foolish

    • stewman23

      Edison Volquez for ROY, right guys?

      …….right?

  • radnom

    Why don’t we just purchase the entire Brewers franchise and use it as a AAAA team.

    How expensive could it be?

  • Rafi

    “The Brewers are set to announce that they’ve resigned incumbent third baseman and ex-Yankee Mike Lamb”

    Are you referring to the month and a half in the 2004 off-season that he was in the organization, because that’s all that I can find on him being an “ex-Yankee”?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yep, when he was supposed to replace Aaron Boone. ;)

      • Rafi

        If only they would’ve not gotten that piece of garbage instead, we’d have won the last 5 World Serieses(sp?)!!! Mike Lamb>>>>>>>>AFRAUD!!!

  • AndrewYF

    What happens if the Yankees sign Teixeira, Sabathia, and Sheets?

    Will the Brewers get the Yankees 3rd round pick for Sheets, or do they get nothing?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Angels get the Yanks’ first rounder, Brewers get the Yanks’ second rounder (technically for Sabathia) and third rounder (Sheets). The team who loses the higher ranked free agent according to Elias gets the higher pick. I have all the Type-A’s listed by Elias rank at the bottom of the Draft Tracker Page:

      http://riveraveblues.com/2009-draft-order/

      • AndrewYF

        Ah, ok. I thought there was a limit to how many draft picks a team could lose.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Technically there is. A team can sign three Type-A’s, plus another one for every Type-A they loose. A few years ago when the D-Rays signed Greg Vaughan, Jose Canseco, et al, they didn’t pick until the 4th round.

    • daneptizl

      3rd rounder, I believe.

    • steve (different one)

      man, that would be the absolute worst case scenario for the Brewers.

  • andrew

    i’m not advocating an acquisition of hall, however, in his defense, his last two years of decline each occurred in seasons in which he was asked to learn a new position… up until 2006 he was primarily a middle infield guy, then was asked to play centerfield full time, and his numbers dropped, then the next season was asked to play third base full time, and his numbers dropped again. he’s clearly an offensive guy and when given that role and told to focus on his offense, i’m sure he would be fine. the only problem is, on the yankees, he would be asked to play multiple positions and be a sort of supersub, which would only contribute to the problems hes had over the past two years.

  • A.D.

    Hall makes very little sense for the Yanks, unless they’re going change of scenery (you would gladly take 05 or 06 production) play & want him to play CF everyday… where he wasn’t very good defensively in 2007… though I believe its considered he got better as the season went on.

    The only other thought is change of scenery and that he’s playing 2b, and Cano is getting traded.

    Neither of these seem real rock solid plans, and that’s just for where he’s going to play let alone what would lead him to suddenly bounce back to 05 or 06 production.

  • Rafi

    Here’s something that I really wonder about: Why is Mike Lamb considered an everyday starter or even platoon worthy? I don’t care if he’s the best defensive 3B since Brooks(which btw, he’s not), the guy can’t hit. Heck, he couldn’t hit before this past year, and he was most probably taking steroids beforehand.

  • A Responsible Yankee Fan

    1:19pm: SI.com’s Jon Heyman says the Phillies and Yankees lead the charge for Lowe, who wants $80MM over five years. A team official for one club told Heyman he was “shocked” with the escalating bidding.

    If the yanks give Lowe 80/5, I’ll be sick. Am I missing something with this guy?

    • Mike Pop

      I dont think Lowe gets that deal

    • mustang

      Easy guy the whole thing is nuts right now. If you’re going by the rumors the Yankees are in big time on CC, AJ, Sheets and Lowe.
      I get the feeling that somewhere in Vegas bunches of GM’s are seating around making this shit up then laugh their asses off at the reactions.

      • Mike Pop

        Heh,

        Jim Bowden: How bout this guys, how bout this, we are going to offer Texieria 200 million !!

        Tony Reagins: (laughing extremely hard) Can you imagine how excited your fans will be !?!?!

        Jim Bowden: I know, I know, fuck them though noone ever comes to our games

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Tony Reagins: How about you, Walt, are you guys gonna “trade Rick Ankiel” again this winter? Heh, that would be rich!

          Walt Jocketty: Dude, I know you’re high, but for the 500-billionth time, I DON’T RUN THE CARDINALS ANYMORE!!!!

          • Mike Pop

            Haha.

            Bill Bavasi: (walks in the room) Hey guys whats up ?

            Tony Reagins: Hey Bill how ya been?

            Walt Jocketty: Hey shutup Reagins, get the fuck out of here Bavassi, your a bum and a loser. Your not even a fucken gm anymore.

            Tony Reagins: What ? For Real?

            Walt: Dude give me that bowl

      • jsbrendog

        then they light cigars with burning 100 dollar bills and soak their feet in johnny walker blue

        • Mike Pop

          Reagins: This is the life huh

          Rest of GMs: Agreed (passing a blunt)

          • Mike Pop

            All of them probably go get a massage too after they get out of the jacuzzi. They lay on a pad of money like Chapelle did in that episode where he married Oprah..

      • mustang

        On MLBTR:
        Manny wants a 6 year deal and Scott Erickson wants to make a comeback.

        I rest my case.

  • Mike Pop

    Say it aint so

  • Mike

    I could not agree more than with the posting:

    Go for Cameron and leave Hall in Mil.

    Hall costs way to much to end up sitting most of the year. between ransom and gardner, you can get what you need. Plus punto is still out there as an option for utility or even hudson if his price drops b/c no ones is buying…

    • radnom

      It is early.

      Hudson is not signing a ultility-man contract.

      • daneptizl

        But no one’s buying!

  • Bo

    Mike Cameron isn’t that good for them to take Hall on.

  • Manimal

    Ehh, this years draft is dry anyways. Next year on the other hand, with Damon and Matsui GONE, we should have more picks in a better draft class.

  • Mike Pop
    • DoggonIt

      CC, Lincecum, Cain – Pray for rain (for the next 7 years)

      • Mike Pop

        I am not buying it

        • DoggonIt

          Neither am I. My comment was to show how short-sided them signing him and Zito would be. Ironically, it would mean neither Lincecum or Cain would be around in 3-5 years anyway.

    • Thomas

      Do they bat CC 3rd or 4th?

      • Mike

        4th and plays first base on his rest days…

    • mustang

      The Giants are “supremely confident” on CC.

      SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!!!!

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        The Giants are “supremely confident” on CC.

        And Donald Rumsfeld was “supremely confident” about those tubes near Tikrit.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      How can CC “slip” from the Dodgers grasp when he was NEVER IN THEIR GRASP?!?!?!?!?!

      • A.D.

        It shows how legit the article is. That would be like saying Casey Blake slipped from the Yankee’s grasp when he signed with the Dodgers

      • mustang

        They are seating around laugh their asses off right now.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          They can do that. It doesn’t make what they say any less stupid.

          • mustang

            Come on Joe 80 million for 5 years of Lowe that has to be a joke.

      • mustang

        On MLBTR:

        RAB is trading tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones and A.D. to an unnamed Mets blog.

        LOL

        • mustang

          Just kidding i wouldn’t want to see that happen.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            Ugh. If I had to wade through a few hundred odd postings from Mets fans with their constant utter paranoia and thoughtless overreaction, I’d shoot myself in the head.

            The best Mets blog in the world is probably like LoHud on a bad day.

            “MINAYA SUX ONLY LIKES THE LATINS GO TRADE FOR SPEEDY GONZALAZ YOU LOOSER DAVID WRIGHT IS TEH AWESOME BETTER THAN AFRAUD K-ROD IS TEH LIGHTSOUT BETTER THAN FAIRYANO RIVERA GO METS!!!!!!!”

            • A.D.

              September could be fun

            • http://poormansanalyst.wordpress.com/ dan

              You’re too good at writing that kind of thing.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                I know, I kinda scared myself a little there…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          No way. If we deal these two, we should get phuckthephils and therealsince86 in return. Or, at the very least, a package built around DWrightUnclutch. TSJC has too much upside, and AD’s proven to be a durable, rock solid veteran contributor.

          • Mike Pop

            Me on the other hand. Trade me for a scrub like Nick Punto

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              Mike, I’m not going to lie to you… I’d trade you for some hookers and blow.

              • Mike Pop

                Yea man I agree. Im a career AAAA

                • mustang

                  And being a Cowboys fan just lower your value buddy.

                • Mike Pop

                  Your probably right. Trade me to a Texas Rangers or Houston Astros blog. I can talk about Pence and Andrus while giving my input on who the Cowboys should draft in the 2nd round

                • mustang

                  Unrated.
                  I can’t believe the 11-2 Super Bowl Champs Giants are 3 point under dogs this week. That just piss me off. If I was Romo I would increase my life insurance.

                • Mike Pop

                  I agree that the G-Men are the better team right now but did you see the Cowboys D last week ? Absolutely dominated the game. In your game Eli looked like a bitch too. Cowboys looked good last week until Romo ripped my heart out with that pick. Lost 100 bills man. We had that game for 55 minutes. It was a real bad loss but I think it told the team that we can compete with the best of them.

                  Yes, Im probably going to get shit on for that last line but I dont give a fuck cause we played great. Unfortunately we could not pull out the W which is the most important thing

            • A.D.

              Hey not, Nick Punto is a living web gem, that’s why he’s Steve Phillips favorite

              • A.D.

                *now

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            TSJC has too much upside,

            RidiculousUpside.com profiled me, they said I have “ridiculous upside”.

            • http://poormansanalyst.wordpress.com/ dan

              I just laughed out loud.

  • MK

    He could be valuable as a pinch hitter/utilityman against lefties.

    vs LHP .278 .355 .493 (690 AB’s)

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      So could lots of other guys not making an average of 8.15M over the next three years.

      • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

        Shelley Duncan.

  • Mark B.

    According to Tom Hardricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

    “As I wrote earlier, the plan is for Lamb to share time at third base with Bill Hall, much like Russell Branyan did last season. Lamb is a left-handed hitter and Hall is a right-handed hitter who has had difficulty hitting right-handed pitching.”

    T…….hat should end any talk of Hall being traded (not that anyone wants him given his high salary and low production).

    The only way Milwaukee trades him is if highly touted AAA prospect Mat Gamel shows he has a more potent right-handed bat.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      The only way Milwaukee trades him is if highly touted AAA prospect Mat Gamel shows he has a more potent right-handed bat.

      Not to mention the fact that they may be shopping Prince Fielder as well, opening a spot for Gamel on the other side of the diamond and allowing them to continue with the Lamb/Hall platoon at 3B.

      • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

        I’m surprised we haven’t heard anything about Prince recently. It seemed like his name was getting tossed around all the time a couple of months ago.

        • A.D.

          They no longer have LaPorta, and if CC doesn’t sign, they’ll have money to keep Prince

          • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

            He’s arb-eligible this year I believe and probably due for a big raise, though not near the 10M Howard got. Probably more like 8M+. He really fell off this last year in slugging percent.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              Furthermore, he’s not in good shape, poor defensively, and has a long swing. He’s a guy who can mash the crap out of the ball right now, yes, but he’s got serious potential for a Travis Hafnerian cliff-dive in his future, where he wakes up one morning and he’s Rob Deer.

              If you can approximate his production with Gamel, you should probably just go ahead and move Fielder for value now, while Fielder still has value.

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