Hall Call: Why the New York Mets and the Veteran Utility Man Are a Perfect Match
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It's not often you will read an article that's primary focus is on utility player who has never been an All-Star, has one season of 30-plus home runs, and has seen his playing time consistently dwindle. This, however, is one of those articles.
If Sandy Alderson and the rest of the New York Mets' brass are reading this, I suggest they pay close attention.
I proclaim that Bill Hall would be a perfect fit for the 2011 New York Mets.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Mets are in need of a utility player—a guy that can play virtually anywhere on the diamond. While they have had plenty of these types of players in the past (Joe McEwing, Edgardo Alfonzo, Fernando Tatis, etc.), they lacked that versatility in 2010, and seem poised to do so again in 2011.
David Wright can only play third base. Jose Reyes is a shortstop. Ike Davis is stuck at first. And aside from Angel Pagan, the Mets' outfielders are pretty much entrenched in their respective positions. It makes it very difficult to give anyone a day off or make defensive switches when you don't have many players that can play multiple positions.
But, adding a guy like Bill Hall could help solve all of that. In 2010 while playing for the Red Sox, Hall played at least one inning at every position aside from first base and catcher (yes, he even pitched a scoreless inning for them).
Which utility player should the Mets target this offseason?
And, while being Mr. Utility—Hall was an offensive threat as well. He hit 18 home runs, his highest total since his breakout season in 2006 when he smacked 35 long balls. He also showed decent speed, stealing nine bases in 10 attempts.
He's still only 31 years old, and the veteran knows how to play the game. He could be a great addition to a jubilant clubhouse. And as a utility man, he could come rather cheap. Coming off that remarkable '06 season, the Brewers signed him to a four year, $24 million contract in 2007. Hall, now a free agent for the first time in his career, could be worth a one or two year deal, about $4 or $5 million per.
He was a valuable asset for the Red Sox in 2010, and could prove just as, if not more, valuable to the Mets in 2011.
Other versatile players the Mets could target include: Willie Bloomquist, Jerry Hairston Jr., Julio Lugo, and Miguel Cairo.
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