Gord Ash weighs in on Hall trade

Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash briefed reporters about today’s trade, in which Milwaukee sent Bill Hall to the Mariners for Class A reliever Buddy Flores in a move to save some payroll. According to one report, the Brewers stand to save $1.75 million of the approximately $10.5 million left on Hall’s contract.

Ash wouldn’t confirm those details, but he did characterize the trade as financially-motivated.

“Obviously, when you enter into a long-term deal with a player, you hope that it’s going to have a much different ending than this one has,” Ash said. “Given [Hall's] ongoing struggles in Milwaukee, this gives him a fresh start, and it gives us some limited financial flexibility for next year compared to what we did owe him, and certainly for the year after in terms of the year after in terms of the buyout of the option. Maybe we can utilize those resources to address a more important need at the moment.”  

The Brewers and Mariners reached an agreement on the trade earlier in the day, but had to get approval from the Commissioner’s Office because of the financial component. That came through just after 4:30 p.m. CT. 

At least one other team showed legitimate interest in Hall, 29, who batted .201 in limited duty this season with six home runs and 24 RBIs. 

“Doug was carrying on most of the conversation and he had a couple of clubs seriously interested, one in the National League and one in the American League, with a couple of others who made calls but were not serious,” Ash said. “The National League club, in the last short while, didn’t feel like it could match the financial relief that we were going to get with the Mariners.” 

Two NL teams were rumored to have interest: Cincinnati and San Francisco. In all the scenarios, Milwaukee would have received a Minor League player in return, Ash said, dousing speculation that the Reds might have tried to unload an equally bulky contract by dealing pitchers Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo. 

“I saw someone wrote about significant Major League pitchers, but when you’re in this situation when you designate a player for assignment and you’re a day removed from releasing that player, a club’s not going to go to that length to acquire a player like this,” Ash said. “They can just wait and acquire the player as a free agent.”

Ash said Flores is a power arm who has battled injuries in the past but has been healthy throughout 2009.

“This is not to dismiss [Flores'] abilities, but this is more of trying to secure financial relief than it is about acquiring personnel,” Ash said.

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