Rumors of J.J. Hardy to the Red Sox and What To Do with Bill Hall

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst IJune 5, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 19:  Bill Hall #2 of the Milwaukee Brewers in the field  against the New York Mets at Citi Field on April 19, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

I was going to spend some time today talking about the current situation with Bill Hall, but it seems as though there is much more to talk about than just Hall. I will get to his situation in a bit.

First off, Dave Bush is ALL man! I know he lost the game last night and gave up a Ruthian home run to Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson, but the toughness Bush showed after taking a line drive off his pitching arm was outstanding.

Bush continues to be a very important part of the Brewers' rotation and he continues to give the Brewers a chance to win every game he pitches.

It seems the rumor mills have moved on from Corey Hart to J.J. Hardy. Apparently the Boston Red Sox have shown interest in the shortstop.

While trading Hardy makes much more sense than Hart, I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Alcides Escobar has turned it on at Triple-A Nashville and has his batting average up near .300. His defense has been ready for the majors for more than a year and it appears that maybe his bat has finally caught up.

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Any discussions of Hardy to Boston would have to revolve around either Clay Buchholz or Manny Delcarmen. I know they are both very good young pitchers, but I would prefer someone with more major league success coming back for Hardy than either Buchholz or Delcarmen have.

Maybe if the Red Sox are willing to take a salary hit and take Bill Hall as well, something could be worked out.

That leads me to my thoughts about Bill Hall.

I hate talking about Bill Hall because I know he has struggled so much the past few years, but he is still one of my favorite players. I tend to let my heart cloud my mind's judgment when it comes to Hall.

Ken Macha has now said that time is running out for Hall. If the Brewers are going to compete for the division, they can't afford Hall to be a black hole in the line-up.

It's time for the Brewers to move on. That could mean any number of things.

First off, Mat Gamel needs to become the everyday third baseman. There is a reason that Gamel is the organization's top prospect, and he deserves the chance to show his talents. I'm willing to take the good and bad with Gamel, much like we did with Braun a couple years ago.

If Hall is able to swallow his pride and handle the demotion without becoming a clubhouse cancer, then he can remain on the team as a bench player, spot-starter, and a late-inning defensive replacement when needed.

Should Hall decide he can't remain a "happy soldier", then he needs to be traded. By himself, Hall isn't going to get much in return. The best the Brewers could hope for would be a low-level prospect.

The other option would be to package Hall in a trade with others. The Hardy/Hall to Boston could make sense, but that is unlikely to happen. If an American League team experiences a rash of injuries and desperately needs help in the majors, then maybe they'd be more willing to take on Hall's contract.

Regardless of what happens, it isn't going to be a happy ending for Bill Hall with the Brewers. It makes me sad to see a player that showed such promise and provided so many memorable moments over the past few years fall as far as Hall has.

It's time to put a bow on this little piece. The Brewers are in Atlanta for the weekend and need to shake off the series in Florida.

Every season will have multiple rough patches and this is one for the Brewers. Hopefully, the can turn it around quickly and start playing the way they did in the month of May.

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