Tag: david weathers

Brewers DFA Bill Hall

billy-hallAs part of a flurry of moves intended to shake up the ballclub, the Milwaukee Brewers have designated Billy Hall for assignment.

Hall has another year and over $8M left on his contract, a hefty sum unlikely to be picked up by an opposing team.

In the past few days, Brewers also DFA’d pitchers Nick Green and R.J. Swindle; sent shortstop J.J. Hardy to the minors; promoted shortstop prospect Alcides Escobar and pitchers Jesus Colome and Jason Bourgeois; demoted pitchers Tim Dillard and Chris Smith; signed OF Corey Patterson; acquired pitcher David Weathers; and fired pitching coach Bill Castro.

Why are the Brewers making all these moves? Because GM Doug Melvin is making a last-ditch attempt to salvage the season, and give the team a shot at the postseason.

The 55-58 Brewers are in fourth place, 7.5 games behind the NL Central leading Cardinals, and one slot ahead of the Mets in the Wild Card standings. Things don’t look great, but Melvin is not about to give up on his team. The moves may not make a difference, but his feeling is that the way they were going wasn’t working, so a change was in order.

This is the same GM who last year fired his manager with 12 games left to play, in an attempt to end a late-season collapse. Remember how that turned out?

In any case, Bill Hall will likely clear waivers. At the Major League minimum, he might be worth auditioning for a 2010 job. Not as a starter, mind you, but in a super utlity role. I would not expect him to stop swinging and missing, nor would I expect to see him hit 35 homeruns again. But he brings other things to the table — namely, versatility, a good glove, strong fundamentals, hustle, and occasional pop. He is a younger version of Fernando Tatis, and someone who would be nice to have on the bench.

But, I think that another team in contention will take a chance on Hall for exactly that reason. In addition, he is an emotionally driven player, and will be motivated to prove the Brewers wrong. My bet is he signs with someone like the Cubs or Cardinals and has a big September, doing just well enough to fool some team into signing him to a two-year deal over the winter. (Not unlike the time Scott Schoeneweis parlayed the end of the 2006 season into a 3-year, $11M contract.)

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Weathering the Storm

Supposedly there is still baseball being played this month — in Philadelphia no less! Can anyone confirm the rumor? Hard to believe anyone in the Northeast would be attempting to play ball in this cold, wet, windy weather.

david_weathers_met.jpgAnyway … with the typhoon-like conditions and snowfall sweeping through our area, I can’t help but pay attention to the weather. And then think about the weather. And somehow the name David Weathers comes into my mind.

Actually, that’s not entirely true … loyal MetsToday reader and commenter “sincekindergarten” tickled my intellect with this quip:

I saw on MLB Trade Rumors that David Weathers might be available. Yeah, he’s 39, but he might be able to give some counsel to some of the other members of the pen, a la Roberto Hernandez to Aaron Heilman in ’06. A year at, say, $3 mil, with a $3.5 mil option . . . ? Is my brain suffering from some sort of pre-freeze by thinking about getting Weathers again?

Tell you what, either I’m also suffering from pre-freeze, or I agree that Weathers would be a welcome addition to the bullpen. Before the naysayers start screaming “no! he’s old and fat and ugly and he stinks!”, please read on for some reasons this could make sense.

First, we’re not suggesting that Weathers is the end-all, be-all, fixitup solution for the bullpen. It’s a START toward improving the ‘pen. By no means should we believe that bringing in Weathers will be a lights-out setup guy, nor that he is the answer to fill the vacant closer role.

But, now that we’ve mentioned it, there’s one reason to bring him in. Weathers does have closing experience, and was pretty decent in that role. Not great, but decent. Again, not suggesting he should be brought in to close, only suggesting that it can help to have him around as a backup plan. As recently as 2007, he saved 33 games and blew 6.

Further, I like where “sk” is going with the counseling aspect. For the past few years, Billy Wagner was the de facto leader of the bullpen. He won’t be around, and despite what fans may think of his public persona, bottom line is that other relievers went to him for advice and looked to him for leadership. That leadership needs to be replaced, and the tough, cool, no-nonsense, and well-experienced Weathers would be an ideal replacement. In his last tour of duty with the Mets, Weathers had a positive effect in the development of Dan Wheeler. He could be a calming influence and mental guide for youngsters such as Eddie Kunz. His knowledge and preparation would be an asset particularly if the Mets decide to find a closer from within.

In addition, there’s the fact that Weathers can still pitch. As mentioned, he saved 33 games in 2007, and last year he posted a 3.25 ERA, with 19 holds, in 72 games. He has a rubber arm, he and experience pitching in every situation — mopup, setup, closing, you name it. We know he’s not going to panic, and we know he can handle New York. We also know he has some chutzpah, something this club can use a bit more of. He won’t blow anyone away, and he’ll give up hits, but he will throw plenty of strikes — and isn’t that something that was a big issue from Mets relievers last year?

Finally, Weathers should come cheaply. Last year he made $2.75M, and I doubt he’d require a huge raise over that. Perhaps he’ll hold out for a two-year deal, but who will offer that to a 39-year-old righty?

If the Mets can bring him in on a cheap, one-year contract, I say do it — but don’t stop there, make it a first step.

Count me in as a “Weathers man”.

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