Results tagged ‘ Bill Hall ’

USA Today salaries out

Poll five different sources and you will get five different projected payrolls for the Brewers in 2010, but the long-running USA Today database is one consistent measure of club expenditures throughout the years. The newspaper released its figures for 2010 on Monday, and the Brewers came in with the 18th-highest payroll of 30 Major League teams, with salaries totaling $81,108,278.
That’s a club record by the publication’s count, up from the Brewers’ $80,937,499 Opening Day payroll in 2008. Last season, it came in at $80,182,502. 
The USA Today figure does not account for the $4 million in deferred salary for Randy Wolf, but the Brewers’ in-house payroll calculator would still come up with a significantly higher number. The newspaper doesn’t figure so-called “likely incentives” that add to player salaries, nor does it count money included in trades, like the $7-plus million of Red Sox infielder Bill Hall’s salary that the Brewers must pay this season. The Brewers also budget about $2 million for in-season call-ups and figure the cost of insurance policies on certain contracts. 
<i>USA Today</i> gets its figures from the MLB Players Association, club officials and Major League Baseball’s central office. The average MLB player salary, according to the publication, is $2.7 million, down from $3.2 million in 2009. Sixteen of the 30 teams say payrolls increase over last season, including the Brewers. 
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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.

Hall traded to Seattle for 25-year-old A-baller

The Brewers found a taker for Bill Hall and at least some of his hefty contract on Wednesday, when they traded the infielder to the Mariners for a Class A reliever. 

Milwaukee gets 25-year-old right-hander Buddy Flores, who had recently been promoted to the advanced Class A California League. The Brewers assigned Flores, whose given first name is Ruben, to their own advanced Class A affiliate in Brevard County, Fla. 

The Brewers announced their deal a little less than an hour before Wednesday’s series finale against the Pirates and did not specify whether any cash was included in the transaction. Hall is in the middle of a four-year, $24 million contract that pays $6.8 million this season and $8.4 million in 2010. It includes a club option for 2011 at $9.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. reported that the Brewers agreed to pay the rest of Hall’s 2009 salary, plus “a large portion” of what he’s owed in 2010, “perhaps as much as $7.15 million.” 

Hall, a 1998 Draft pick, had been the longest-tenured player in Milwaukee’s organization before the team designated him for assignment last week. He batted .201 in limited duty this season with six home runs and 24 RBIs. The Mariners, whose GM,  Jack Zduriencik, was Milwaukee’s amateur scouting director until last year but did not draft Hall, needed a third baseman to replace disabled third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Flores surrendered 15 runs in his first 10 1/3 innings for the High Desert Mavericks, a former Milwaukee affiliate, but spent most of the year with Clinton in the Midwest League, and posted a 2.30 ERA and 18 saves in 36 games.

Melvin "working on something" for Bill Hall

The Brewers have until Friday to settle Bill Hall’s future, but a resolution could come sooner.

slumping Hall was designated for assignment by Milwaukee on Aug. 12,
giving the team 10 days to trade Hall or release him and eat the more
than $10 million left on his contract. That window expires on Friday.

working on something,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said, an
indication that he had found a team willing to trade for Hall. “I’ve
gotten some interest. I don’t want to say which teams have called or
what we’re working on, though.”

A trade would require Melvin to
either take on an equally bulky contract or to include cash to cover
some or all of Hall’s remaining salary. Hall is making $6.8 million
this year, is due $8.4 million in 2010 and will get a $500,000 buyout
if a team isn’t willing to exercise his $9.25 million club option for

The Reds have been mentioned as one potential suitor for Hall, who has bashed Cincinnati pitching through the years. Cincinnati happens to have two pitchers — Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo — nearing the end of big contracts who have been mentioned in trade rumors this summer, but Melvin wouldn’t say whether that team was a match.

Hall upbeat as Brewers tenure nears end

Here’s more of what Bill Hall had to say today after the Brewers designated their longest-tenured player for assignment:

“It’s something that just happens, nothing big. I’m happy about the time I spent here. [Last season was the first time in] 26 years we made the playoffs here, so I had a lot of good times and I appreciate everything this organization has done for me and I think it’s time a new chapter in my life. I’m excited about this chapter. Hopefully these guys can pull it together and turn things around. I’m definitely excited about the next chapter in my life.”

On his happy demeanor:  “I was happy when I came back up [from an optional assignment to Triple-A Nashville earlier this month]. This game isn’t going to break me down for the rest of my life. You go through ups and downs, everybody does, and this is one of those bumps and it happens to everybody. It’s not like I’m getting released when I’m at the end of my career when I feel like I can still play. I’m 29 years old and in the prime of my career. I’m going home to Arizona for a couple days — probably won’t be there very long from the looks and the sounds of things — and it’s not the last time you’ll see Bill Hall.”

Was he surprised by the news?  “Yeah, I was kind of shocked this morning when I woke up and got the message to call Doug [Melvin, Milwaukee’s GM]. I didn’t know what it was about and he told me and I was just waking up and I didn’t know what to think at the moment so I had to collect my thoughts, call my agent and figure everything out. Like I said, I’m just looking forward to the next chapter of my life and I appreciate everything everybody’s done [for me] in this organization and it’s going to be fun.”

On his improvement since being sent to Triple-A:  “I definitely feel like I’m getting my swing together, starting to feel the swing again. For the most part, I held my own, had great at bats — I felt like I didn’t give away any at bats — didn’t swing at bad pitches, put the ball in play for the most part and when I had pitches to hit I made good contact on them. It’s all a positive, everything’s going to be a positive. When you have so many positive things going on you don’t want to make you look back, but I’m just looking forward. All I’m doing is looking forward.”

On hitting a home run in his last game: “Yeah, at least I ended on a good note. My last game I hit a home run and that’s something that had been missing in the game in a while and, like I said, I felt that stroke again and got a good pitch to hit and hit it hard.  That’s what made it a little more surprising when I woke up this morning. I felt like I had put together some pretty good games in a row, so it’s kind of shocking but things happen and it’s time to move on.”

– Cash

In the clubhouse: Player reaction

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div.Section1Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he
“shocked” manager Ken Macha Tuesday night when he told Macha of the
changes the club was going to make Wednesday morning.

“Shocked” and “surprised” were two of
the main words going around in the Brewers clubhouse Wednesday afternoon, hours
after the Brewers relieved pitching coach Bill Castro, optioned shortstop J.J.
Hardy to Triple-A Nashville and designated Bill Hall.

Here is some reaction from the players:

First, from Hall, the longest tenured Brewer, about
leaving the only team he’s ever known: “It’s something that just happens,
nothing big. I’m happy about the time I spent here. [First time in] 26 years we
made the playoffs here, so I had a lot of good times and I appreciate
everything this organization has done for me and I think it’s time for a new
chapter in my life. I’m excited about this chapter. Hopefully these guys can
pull it together and turn things around. I’m definitely excited about the next
chapter in my life.”

Injured second baseman Rickie Weeks on losing Hall and Hardy, his
long-time double play partner: “Shocked, basically. I don’t have too many
words to say because of disappointment for everyone else. But it was just
one of those things where it’s baseball, it’s a business thing and sometimes it
sucks, plain and simple.”

Craig Counsell on how shakeups like these affect the
clubhouse: “On a personal level you feel for those guys, for sure, we all
do. But the nature of our jobs is that we have to go perform tonight and
frankly it doesn’t matter who’s here, you still have to go perform, that’s your
job. … It doesn’t change the way you go out and prepare or the way you’re
going to go out and do your job. I don’t know what effect it has [in the
clubhouse]. Obviously, Doug felt he had to do something.”

And finally, center fielder Mike Cameron, who was trying to keep the clubhouse light before batting practice, on
whether the moves will light a spark in the clubhouse: “Who knows what could
possibly come about. There are certain things that happen during the course of
the season. You saw Colorado get a spark in a change of their manager, you see
some teams get guys come up and they may provide an extra burst of energy.
There are a lot of things that take place, but the one real thing that’s going
to happen, regardless of everything’s that going on today and different things
and different situations that take place, at 7:05 [p.m.] we still have to

With that said, here are tonight’s lineups:

San Diego
Tony Gwynn CF
David Eckstein 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Chase Headley LF
Wil Venable RF
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
Henry Blanco C
Everth Cabrera SS
Kevin Correia RHP

Felipe Lopez 2B
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Mike Cameron CF
Casey McGehee 3B
Frank Catalanotto RF
Jason Kendall C
Carlos Villanueva RHP


Crew shake-up: Castro, Hall out; Hardy optioned

MILWAUKEE — After his team lost for the 22nd time in 35 games on Tuesday night, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin apparently decided it was time for a shake-up. In a trio of decisive moves Wednesday morning, the team:

– Dismissed pitching coach Bill Castro, an 18-year veteran of the coaching staff who did not make it through his first season as pitching coach. Triple-A pitching coach Chris Bosio will replace Castro on an interim basis.

– Optioned slumping shortstop J.J. Hardy to Nashville and promoted co-top prospect Alcides Escobar to take his place.

– Announced that infielder/outfielder Bill Hall, the organization’s longest-tenured player, had been designated for assignment. Outfielder Jason Bourgeois was promoted from Nashville to replace Hall.

All three moves were likely difficult ones for Melvin, given Castro’s and Hall’s long service to the team and the fact Hardy is two years removed from an All-Star appearance. Melvin was to meet with reporters at 3 p.m. CT at Miller Park.

The GM did address Castro’s dismissal in a statement.

“We appreciate and admire the dedication and tireless work ethic put forth by Bill Castro over the last 18 seasons,” Melvin said.  “A move like this is never easy to make, especially given Bill’s longevity with the organization and considering how hard he worked to reach this position.”

Castro pitched in the Brewers organization from 1970-80, then returned to the club as a Minor League coach from 1988-91 before taking a job on the big league staff. He was the bullpen coach for six different managers from 1992-2008 before realizing a long-time goal and being named pitching coach on Nov. 7, 2008.

But injuries to Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan and inconsistencies throughout the staff have marred the Brewers’ 2009. After the team’s 13-6 loss to the weak-hitting Padres Tuesday night, the Brewers’ pitching staff ranked 27th in the Major Leagues with a 4.84 ERA while allowing a Major League-leading 151 home runs in 112 games.  The staff also issued 421 walks, fifth-most in the Majors.

Bosio, 46, was the Tampa Bay Rays’ pitching coach in 2003. He was in his first season as pitching coach at Triple-A Nashville, a staff that entered Wednesday tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in team ERA (4.05) while allowing the fourth-fewest home runs (83). 

The Brewers’ second-round Draft pick in 1982, Bosio pitched in the Majors for Milwaukee (1986-92) and Seattle (1993-96). He will wear No. 43 beginning Wednesday night.

Bosio’s won’t be the only new uniform number on Wednesday. Escobar (No. 21) and Bourgeois (No. 16) will replace two of the team’s most underachieving players.

Hardy, the subject of trade rumors virtually all season, was hitting a career-low .229 with 11 home runs and 45 RBI, including .220 with 13 RBIs since July 1. That wasn’t good enough to hold off Escobar, who was batting .298 with four home runs, 34 RBIs and 42 stolen bases in 109 games at Nashville.  He’s considered Milwaukee’s co-top prospect along with third baseman Mat Gamel  but already has a taste of the big leagues. Escobar was among Milwaukee’s September call-ups last year, then earned a spot on the playoff roster after second baseman Rickie Weeks suffered an injury.

Bourgeois is more unknown to Brewers coaches and fans because he missed much of Spring Training while recovering from a broken thumb. The right-handed hitting speedster batted .316 in 105 games at Nashville with 36 steals. He appeared in six games with the White Sox last season.

He replaces Hall, who remains stuck in a three-year slump and briefly was optioned to Nashville last month. Hall was quickly called back after Corey Hart underwent an appendectomy, and Hall went 3-for-15 in four games since his return including a start on Tuesday night in which he hit a two-run home run. Overall this season, Hall was hitting .201 with six homers and 24 RBIs.

The team has 10 days to trade Hall, release him or assign him outright to the Minors, an assignment Hall could refuse. For the first time since 2002, he is no longer on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster.

The team stands to take a major financial hit because Hall is making $6.8 million this season and is due $8.4 million in 2010 as part of the four-year, $24 million contract he signed after belting 35 home runs in 2006. The deal also includes a $500,000 buyout of a $9.25 club option for 2011.

Hall to make first career start in RF

Just as Ken Macha hinted on Sunday after the Brewers announced that Corey Hart was due for an appendectomy, Bill Hall is making his first career start in right field for tonight’s series-opener at Dodger Stadium. Hall gets the call against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw because he bats right-handed, though his average against southpaws is down to .239.

After it became clear that Hart would go to the disabled list, the Brewers called down to Nashville and asked mangaer Don Money to use Hall in right field. Hall started there for both games of a doubleheader against Albuquerque, and Hall went 0-for-6 in the two games with an RBI. He finished his brief stint in the Minors with four hits in 14 at-bats (.286).

The lineup looks like this:

Felipe Lopez  2B
Casey McGehee  3B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Mike Cameron  CF
J.J. Hardy  SS
Bill Hall  RF
Mike Rivera  C
Manny Parra  LHP

Two more Triple-A hits for Hall

Bill Hall hit a solo home run and later added a double in his second game for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, and is 4-for-8 with three RBIs in two games since accepting a demotion to the Minor Leagues.

Hall started a second straight game at shortstop. Both of the Brewers’ top prospects — shortstop Alcides Escobar and third baseman Mat Gamel — were out of the lineup on Saturday.

Hall: 'I still consider myself the best 3B in the league'

Brewers infielder Bill Hall emerged from a closed-door meeting with his bosses on Saturday and insisted that he hasn’t given up on turning around his dismal 2009 season. 

“I still consider myself the best third baseman in the league,” Hall said. 

He’ll get another chance on Sunday, when the Brewers mark the season’s unofficial midpoint against left-hander Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Manager Ken Macha said he intends to start Hall at third base in Milwaukee’s final game before Major League Baseball’s All-Star break, which will be broadcast nationally on TBS with Chip Caray and Buck Martinez on the call. 

Hall, who enters the first-half finale hitting .198, would not say much about his Saturday afternoon sit-down with general manager Doug Melvin, assistant GM Gord Ash and Macha. Asked what they talked about, Macha was also mum. 

Hall was clear on two points: He has not asked to be moved out of Milwaukee, and the Brewers have not asked him to go to the Minor Leagues. Because he has more than five years of service time, Hall owns the right to refuse such an assignment. 

“It wasn’t a bad meeting, it wasn’t a good meeting. It was just a meeting,” Hall said. “We talked about baseball. It was just a discussion.”

Hall has had a first half to forget. He began the year as Milwaukee’s starting third baseman but has fallen essentially to third on the depth chart by batting .198 with five home runs and 18 RBIs. He started 23 of the Brewers’ first 26 games, but since then has made just 25 starts in 61 games while batting .124. 

Casey McGehee and rookie Mat Gamel have handled most of the starts since then, with Hall relegated to starting against left-handers. Now even those numbers are on the decline; Hall hit .306 against southpaws last season, but this year he’s hitting .231.

“There’s kind of mixed feelings, I guess,” Hall said. “Obviously, I haven’t played well, but I’m not getting to play very often, either. The lefties I’m facing aren’t exactly easy. [The Mets’ Johan] Santana. [The Giants’ Barry] Zito had been dealing. [The Cubs’ Ted] Lilly is an All-Star. When you don’t get any other at-bats during the week, it’s tough going out there to face guys like that and trying to get some hits.”

Make no mistake: Hall does not see his production as acceptable.

“I have to figure something out,” Hall said, his eyes reddening, “some way to fight through that and try to be productive when I do get a chance to play. 

“I’m here,” he added. “I’m working every day, I’m keeping my mouth shut. I have to find a way to produce when I get in there.”

Hall’s decline is in its third season. He was the Brewers’ club MVP in 2006, when he filled-in for an injured J.J. Hardy at shortstop and batted .270 while leading the Brewers with 35 home runs. That season earned Hall a four-year, $24 million contract that bought out his arbitration years and one season off free agency. 

More than a year remains on that deal. Hall is making $6.8 million this season and is due $8.4 million in 2010. If the Brewers release Hall, they would owe him the remainder of that salary. 

Hall does have value off the bench because he is a quality defender at second base, third base and shortstop, and can also play the outfield if needed. But Hall, the longest tenured player in the entire organization (he was the Brewers’ sixth-round Draft pick in 1998) isn’t sure where he fits on the team at the moment.

“I’m still trying to do things to help this team win,” he said.