Bill Hall wants out of Milwaukee

2 06 2008

It has finally happened.

After voicing his displeasure when Russell Branyan was called up a week ago, Bill Hall’s agent says that Bill wants to be traded out of Milwaukee. He believes he should play everyday in the infield. It turns out that Hall’s threat (“We’ll see what happens in the next couple days”) had some substance behind it.

I still stick with the argument that to deserve everyday playing time, a player has to produce against both right-handed and left-handed pitching. Bill has not done that. He’s also been inconsistent with the glove at the hot corner. I would love to see Bill stick around in a platoon role. The third baseman is a very valuable part of the organization and team. He does not deserve to play everyday right now, however.

Hall’s agent suggests that the trade should make perfect sense for Milwaukee. The Brewers need pitching, and his client wants more playing time. It would also free some room in the payroll for Mark Attanasio come the trade deadline. Milwaukee could use another arm in the rotation, so Doug Melvin could create some sort of package for a back-end of the rotation starter.

What could the Brewers get for Bill Hall? Brewers fans should not have any delusions about Hall’s market value. His contract is not team-friendly, and Bill has not been producing in the field or at the plate. Melvin could get a high-ceiling prospect like RHP Joshua Butler, like he did with Gabe Gross. He could also try to package Hall to get someone like RHP Randy Wolf (even though that would not be ideal). There are options.

Another option is that Doug Melvin does not have to make any move whatsoever. He is not required to move Bill Hall. Hall can only request a trade, which he technically has not done. Only his agent has mentioned anything about a trade. The third baseman is under contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, and there he will stay unless Melvin decides to move him.

My guess is that Hall is moved within a week or two. No team wants a disgruntled player in the clubhouse. He may not be showing it outwardly at the moment, but the situation could turn ugly in a hurry…especially if the team starts losing again. I suspect Melvin will move quickly, but he’ll wait until after the draft to get anything done.

One pitcher I could see Melvin targeting is St. Louis Cardinal Anthony Reyes. The young right-hander is sporting a 3.04 ERA in St. Louis’ Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. Reyes has been woefully unsuccessful at the big league level, but he has shown flashes of dominance. He is only 26-years old, and a change of scenery could do the young man some good. Since the Cardinals are lacking some pop in the middle of the infield, Bill Hall could be a nice fit for St. Louis.

Another interesting direction the Brewers may attempt to go is Derek Lowe from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have been very slow out of the gate this season, and Lowe will be a free agent after this season. Milwaukee would certainly have to give up something else besides Hall to get the deal done, but it could be possible. Would adding Brad Nelson to the mix be enough to get Lowe to Milwaukee. It should be, but I suspect Melvin does not want to part with Nelson. Nashville’s offense is bleak enough. Perhaps a high-ceiling prospect like Caleb Gindl? Would that be enough? It might take another prospect to get the former All-Star to Milwaukee, but it would be a start.

I’ll leave you with one more possibility. The Brewers could talk to the Seattle Mariners about acquiring Jarrod Washburn. The veteran right-hander has a career 4.16 ERA, but he is underperforming at this juncture in the season. Seattle is thirsting for some offense, and Bill Hall could be a “change of scenery” type of player. The Brewers would be taking on a bulky contract, but Jarrod would be under the team’s control through the 2009 season. Doug Melvin does not like inheriting big contracts, so this move seems quite unlikely.

All of this speculation is off the top of my head, but the most likely route the Brewers will go is Anthony Reyes. He provides some upside without the big contract…something Doug Melvin likes a lot in a player. Melvin has said that he prefers not to trade within the division. He did, however, discuss multiple trades with St. Louis this off-season. Keep in mind that none of these moves will likely happen, as Doug Melvin is infinitely smarter than myself. This is just one man’s opinion.




2 responses

3 06 2008

I’ve never been a fan of Reyes. He always looks like an ace when he faces the Brewers, but that’s what the Brewers have done for almost a decade. Any other time I saw him, i thought he lacked control of his breaking pitches, but worked his fastball on both corners quite well. At this point, teams that are selling are looking for prospects, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lowe become available if we’re willing to part with a couple AAA guys.

Unfortunately no guy is a big time target because the Brewers are still quite a ways out of the playoffs. Until they prove they’re at another level, they may want to think about top notch pitching prospects who are almost polished and ready, live with Gamel at third and hope the current pitching hangs on to keep them in it before another deal comes along around the trade deadline.

I would be okay with a Lowe or a Byrd if push comes to shove. But I want to hear more offers before I pull the trigger. Hall may turn into a cancer, but he’s better known to be a professional and will do his best to show off his skills to get playing time elsewhere. Hopefully he can increase his trade value in the process. What he doesn’t know is that he’s going to end up a utility player pretty much everywhere else. Poor guy… ::vomit::

3 06 2008

Lowe makes a lot of sense for the Brewers. The Dodgers are looking for some pop in the infield, and Bill Hall may just need to get out of Milwaukee. I think you’re right that it would take more than Hall. It would be stupid to trade Nelson with Hall though. Nelson may need to be called up if Hall is traded. Perhaps a Hall and Cole Gillespie deal could get Lowe to Milwaukee?

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