The Red Sox seem to like to cluster their offseason news events.
One day after reaching preliminary agreement with Adrian Beltre and the same day they designated Mike Cameron their Opening Day center fielder, the Red Sox have traded Casey Kotchman to Seattle for Bill Hall, a prospect and cash. Yes, the cash is going toward the Red Sox, which is a bit of a switch. Hall's tab is being mostly paid for by Milwaukee; presumably, the Mariners are forwarding that cash on to Boston.
If you're keeping track at home, that's Argenis Diaz and Hunter Strickland for
Adam LaRoche Casey Kotchman Bill Hall and a prospect — all since July 22.
8 replies on “Not Done Yet”
I kind of feel like they’ve downgraded a step each time – LaRoche to Kotchman and now to Bill Hall, who’s pretty much done as a major league baseball player. I guess he could be a defensive replacement late in games for the infield positions, but why would you replace any of them?
I have to agree with Andrew here. Each trade was a step backwards talent wise. Fortunately it doesn’t seem like they gave up much originally.
I will say this, I was a BIG Bill Hall guy, thought he had the potential to be very good. I thought he’d at least replicate some of what he did in that amazing season he had, but he hasn’t been anywhere near that since. He’s versatile, can play numerous positions, as bench players go you can do far worse that’s for sure. Maybe they catch lightning in a bottle.
As for Kotchman I think it’s time to officially call this guy a bust. He came up with so much hoopla and he’s basically a light hitting, plus defending 1Bman. With the defense of Beltre’s offensive woes being that Safeco is a tough place to hit, can only mean trouble for Kotchman. Seems that the Mariners are also going the way of the Sox and emphasizing defense, the have some solid defenders behind a pretty good pitching staff. Going to have to play a lot of close games and have some clutch hits, but who knows.
If anyone hasn’t seen them yet, the 2009 park factors: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/parkfactor/_/sort/HRFactor
Yes, Yankee Stadium 3.0, the ‘Bandbox in the Bronx’ as some like to call it, or ‘a joke’ as some others like to call it, was a slight PITCHER’S PARK last year. Yes, it is the best park for homeruns. But it is one of the worst parks for doubles, and by far the worst park for triples (although there are so few a year, I feel like this number can vary wildly).
I think we can finally stop with the ‘little league baseball park’ nonsense once and for all. The Yankees, at least in 2009, played in a park that suppressed offensive numbers.
Does this mean the OPS+ numbers will be adjusted UPWARDS for Yankee batters? If so, wow.
Also, I don’t think it’s officially time to call Kotchman a bust. The dude’s 24 years old. No, a contending team shouldn’t hand him a starting job out of Spring Training, but the guy at least has some potential. Bill Hall has zero potential. He’s as done as Andy Phillips or Miguel Cairo.
Kotchman will be 27 on Opening Day.
I am ready to call him a bust. He’s a defensive 1Bman, that doesn’t excel in any one offensive category. I have followed him for a long time and he has not even come close to living up to the hype he generated as a youngster.
2005 Top 100 Prospects
1. Delmon Young (OF, TAM)
2. Casey Kotchman (1B, ANA)
3. Felix Hernandez (RHP, SEA)
4. Ian Stewart (3B, COL)
5. Andy Marte (3B, ATL)
6. Rickie Weeks (2B, MIL)
7. Adam Miller (RHP, CLE)
8. Prince Fielder (1B, MIL)
9. Scott Kazmir (LHP, TAM)
10. Dallas McPherson (3B, ANA)
2004 TOP 100 PROSPECTS
1. Joe Mauer (C, MIN)
2. BJ Upton (SS, TAM)
3. Zach Greinke (RHP, KC)
4. Andy Marte (3B, ATL)
5. Casey Kotchman (1B, ANA)
6. Edwin Jackson (RHP, LA)
7. Justin Morneau (1B, MIN)
8. Scott Kazmir (LHP, NYM)
9. Cole Hamels (LHP, PHI)
10. Alexis Rios (OF, TOR)
As for Bill Hall, he has value to the Sox, but it’s relative to their needs. Player for player, Kotchman is better, but if the Sox need versatility off the bench then I believe that Hall can at the very least provide that. Just my opinion, I know a lot of people (RAB, NoMaas, etc…) didn’t like Hall to the Yankees last season, nor do they really hold his skill set and or value in high regard. He’s not worth 8 Million, but at a lesser price he should help for what they need.
Help for what, though? He certainly doesn’t help the offense in any way. And is he really a better defender than any of the infielders? He’s completely useless on the Sox, even moreso than Kotchman, who at least could back up first base and not completely suck with the bat, if say you ever wanted to pinch hit for Varitek, or if Beltre was so bad you needed to platoon him and play Youkilis there.
Now they have Bill Hall, one of the worst major leaguers on the planet. And he has absolutely zero upside.
I agree that the return in each case has been a step down, though we don’t know yet who the PTBNL is — the Sox get to choose from an agreed-upon list during spring training, which seems to indicate it’s not some low-minors lottery pick.
In fairness to Hall, he certainly did have an execrable season in 2009, and I don’t know whether he can rebound from that or not, but his career numbers against lefties until then have been really impressive, even in his subpar 2007-08 seasons.
OPS against lefties since age 25/2005: .967, 1.072, .795, .893, .606. If the Sox think he’s fixable, then he can be the Drew replacement against lefties, as well as a general backup infielder if needed. If he’s not fixable, then it does seem like the Sox bought high and sold low on Kotchman — perhaps intentionally, out of deference to Kotchman’s desire to have more playing time.
Dave Cameron on Kotchman overall and in Seattle.