Thursday, January 7, 2010
Boston gets Hall from Seattle
ESPN.com news services
The Boston Red Sox formally announced a pair of moves that had been reported earlier in the week, signing free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre and acquiring infielder-outfielder Bill Hall, along with a player to be named and cash, from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for first baseman Casey Kotchman.
Beltre agreed to a one-year contract that reportedly guarantees him $10 million. He will get $9 million this year in a deal that includes a $5 million player option for 2011 with a $1 million buyout. The option would escalate to $10 million if Beltre has 575 plate appearances this year.
Beltre's primary appeal for the Red Sox is defense. He'll start at third in place of Mike Lowell, who had thumb surgery late last month after a proposed trade to the Texas Rangers was derailed by the injury. The Red Sox likely will continue trying to trade Lowell.
Beltre will be introduced at a news conference at Fenway Park on Friday morning.
Kotchman passed his physical to complete the trade with the Mariners. He is expected to be Seattle's starting first baseman. Hall likely will be the Red Sox's top infield reserve.
Hall was acquired by the Mariners from Milwaukee in August. He started at shortstop for the Brewers in 2006, but also has played second and third and all three outfield positions. Hall hit 35 home runs in 2006 for the Brewers, but has a total of 37 since, including eight last season, in which he batted .201 in 110 games.
The trade strongly suggests Seattle won't bring back slugging first baseman Russell Branyan. The Mariners fear the free agent might not be healed from a disc issue in his back that may not make him worthy of a multiyear contract. Kotchman is 26 and fits Zduriencik's plan to rebuild the rising Mariners through defense, pitching and youth. Kotchman is less of a power hitter but is eight years younger and a better defender than Branyan.
"We've all known Casey for a long time and seen him grow in the baseball ranks," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. "Casey has an opportunity to become the player he has been projected to be. He plays great defense and offensively should be a nice fit for our club and ballpark. He is a person of character with great work habits."
Kotchman, who split 2009 with the Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves, hit .268 with seven home runs and 48 RBIs. He batted .282 in 87 games with the Red Sox, with whom he hit six of his seven homers. The Red Sox obtained Kotchman last season in a trade that sent Adam LaRoche to Atlanta.
He is a career .269 hitter in six seasons with the Red Sox, Braves and Los Angeles Angels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.