Earlier today the deal sending first baseman Casey Kotchman to Seattle for utility man Bill Hall became official. With the addition of Adrian Beltre, there was no longer a role for Kotchman and it was a logical move for Theo and the gang. Overall, I think the Sox benefit greatly by receiving a utility man who can come off the bench to play any position, a minor league prospect to be named later, and cash.
Bill Hall had a huge breakout season in 2006 with the Brewers, hitting 35 HR’s and batting .270. Since then, Hall has struggled, and his low average and HR totals reflect the decline. Overall, Hall is a career .251 hitter who has played every position in the field except first base and catcher, which could make him a valuable role player off the bench.
This move is representative of Theo’s intelligence when filling out a roster. He brings in role players who can fit the system and can help the ball club win 95+ games. By having a utility guy like Hall on the bench, it will allow the Sox to not tap into their minor league system during the year unless it is absolutely necessary. It also allows Francona the opportunity to pinch-hit or move players around defensively late in a ballgame.
Moving Kotchman was another smart decision, because the Sox have their starter at first base in Youk and have a back-up first baseman in Victor Martinez, with Tek sliding behind the plate. Even in a pinch, the Sox have Ortiz who can play a solid first base, although he is certainly not a longer term option if someone gets injured. With a strong balance of defense and power, this Sox team could be the best of the past few years. The only other role player the Sox could use would be a reliever. Chapman anyone?