The Bill Hall Rumor Mill


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.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Dave says:

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

  2. huuz says:

    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).

    • Mike A. says:

      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 says:

      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.

  3. A.D. says:

    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.


  4. radnom says:

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

    How expensive could it be?

  5. Rafi says:

    “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”?

  6. AndrewYF says:

    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?

  7. andrew says:

    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.

  8. A.D. says:

    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.

  9. Rafi says:

    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.

  10. A Responsible Yankee Fan says:

    1:19pm:’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 says:

      I dont think Lowe gets that deal

    • mustang says:

      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 says:


        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

        • 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 says:


            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 says:

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

        • Mike Pop says:

          Reagins: This is the life huh

          Rest of GMs: Agreed (passing a blunt)

          • Mike Pop says:

            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 says:

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

        I rest my case.

  11. Mike Pop says:

    Say it aint so

  12. Mike says:

    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…

  13. Bo says:

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

  14. Manimal says:

    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.

  15. MK says:

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

    vs LHP .278 .355 .493 (690 AB’s)

  16. Mark B. says:

    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.

  17. [...] remember that Milwaukee writer that thought the Brewers would receive the Yanks’ two first round picks if they sign both [...]

  18. [...] it won’t be Ian Kennedy. The Haudricourt piece says that both teams are willing to explore Bill Hall, whom we do not like. The Brewers aren’t just going to give him away, though, and I don’t think he’s [...]

  19. [...] the Yanks in recent years. During the Winter Meetings in December 2008, Mike wondered why Hall was being connected to the Yanks, and in November of 2010, we heard some low-level rumblings about a connection between Hall and the [...]

  20. [...] of Fenway). In addition, the Yankees have long been interested in Hall’s services. They explored a trade for him in 2008, though at the time his contract made that a non-starter. Last winter the Yankees tried to [...]

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