Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has an interesting tweet, implying that the Pittsburgh Pirates have made an offer to Bill Hall, and that Hall could be the starting second baseman if he accepts the offer. The only way that would happen is if the Pirates moved Neil Walker from second to third base, and Pedro Alvarez from third to first base.
Hall has a career -4.2 UZR/150 in his limited time at second base. He’s been better defensively at third, with a 3.9 UZR/150 rating. Hall would make more sense as a third baseman, with Alvarez moving to first, and Walker remaining at second, where he could improve on his defense. On offense, Hall hasn’t exactly been a great hitter. In 2005-2006 he combined for a .280/.344/.525 line in 1038 at-bats. Since then, he has combined for a .233/.297/.405 line in 1534 at-bats, although he did have a .247/.316/.456 line in 344 at-bats during the 2010 season.
This is all based on a very vague tweet that seemed to come from out of nowhere (I haven’t seen Hall connected to the Pirates anywhere else), so take it for what it’s worth. I’m not against moving Alvarez to first base to upgrade the defense at third. I am against moving Walker to third base to make this happen, as it focuses too much on the short term, and doesn’t give Walker a chance to improve at a position he just moved to in 2010. As for adding a third baseman, I think the right player needs to be acquired to make the move work. I’m not sure Hall is that player, since his numbers over the last four seasons haven’t looked like the numbers you would want from a starter at any position on the field.
UPDATE 8:35 PM: Cafardo has an update, saying that a Pirates source said that if the team signed Hall, he would not play second base. That still leaves open the question as to whether the Pirates made an offer. Cafardo talks as if there was an offer made, but that hasn’t been reported anywhere else.