It’s been spread on Twitter that Casey Kotchman is headed to the Mariners for Bill Hall, a minor league PTBNL and cash considerations. When I first saw this deal I was curious to what this accomplished, but after looking at the numbers this makes a bit more sense. The cash is likely the money that Seattle got from the Brewers when they got Hall to cover some of his 2010 contract. So they are probably not adding contract and could be dropping some.
On the field though Hall hasn’t been the same player for years and his bat has been below league average and falling since 2007. He got even worse last year and his strikeout rate climbed to 36%. This trade isn’t expecting a return to the 35 homers that Hall had in 2006, but perhaps a quality backup.
While Kotchman is a solid defender his UZR/150 at first base is only 4.4. It was better in 2009 at 11.1, but with the infield full and Victor Martinez as a potential backup to spell Kevin Youkilis there is little use for him. Hall on the other hand has solid defensive numbers at 3 positions and should be fine given chances at the others.
UZR/150 2B -1.9 3B 5.7 SS 1.6 LF -2.3 CF 6.3 RF -0.1 OF 4.6
In essence they go from a one position defensive replacement to a 6 position defensive replacement and makes the team much more flexible. This could also free them to deal Jeremy Hermida and make him the fourth outfielder if they could get a solid return for him.
I don’t think this is a great deal, but I can see what the team sees in the deal. They had no playing time for Kotchman here and found a player who can be a super utility player. Perhaps a final judgment should wait for the financial portion of the deal.