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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Brief Word About Hillenbrand

I know that the Blue Jays have designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment, and there was talk last year following Dallas McPherson's disappearance of acquiring him in a trade, and again back in May of this year, for Adam Kennedy when AK's worth was rather higher. My caveats would be that About the only way to justify this acquisition is to stipulate that Dallas will be an injury magnet and therefore replaced by Maicer Izturis. And, as eager as Bill Stoneman might be to get Howie Kendrick's bat into the lineup, he's also been gentle about keeping Kennedy around, and Kennedy is the presumed bait to get Hillenbrand at this point. I'd have to believe that Hillenbrand would be at least pleased to play for the Angels; he lives in Arizona, after all, but the Angels still have a real interest in keeping Dallas at third for as long as possible. (However, Mike Scioscia's comments about McPherson not being the starting first baseman upon his return certainly does dull that possibility.) I'd be dead set against a Hillenbrand acquisition in the main; I don't see how it helps the team especially much.

Comments:
As a DFA, aren't the Blue Jays responsible for all but the major league minimum of his remaining salary?

That's all the Cardinals are paying Jeff Weaver
 
I'm not sure what the situation is with a DFA. If he's traded, there might still be some wiggle room.
 
I think that its more up to the trade terms (which almost always include the former team paying the entire salary, since the new team could conceivably pick him up in a few days for the league minimum). Hillenbrand makes a lot of sense for the Angels (assuming this is the last year on his contract). He can play first and third, which should make him at least an upgrade over Kendry Morales and/or Ztu for the rest of the season (although, no guarantee). Also, he would probably be dealt straight up for AK, which would open 2nd entirely to Howie. As a matter of fact, I would say that if that trade happens, Howie and Maicer will split time at 2nd; Hillenbrand, Kenmore and Quins at 1st; Hillenbrand, Quins, and Ztu at 3rd. That gives Ztu a lot of opportunities to prove that the last couple of weeks can continue, and gets Hillenbrand and Howie in the lineup at the expense of Kenmore and AK.
 
Oh yeah, the major problem against Hillenbrand is the spectacular way he got himself run out of Toronto. It may have been just a situational thing or it could end up being Guillen-esque, and that's a pretty big risk to take.
 
DFA is a holding tank - "We need a roster spot NOW, we're not sure what we want to do with you, but we have ten days to decide"...trade, release, waive, or outright, depending on the player's rights.

In the case of the Cardinals, it ended up simply being a good, old fashioned trade. To make the deal more attractive, the Angels agreed to send cash to cover some, but not all, of his salary.

In the case of Yan, the Angels sent cash to cover some of his salary, too.

Here's a link:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/1999/0908/46397.html
 
But no mention anywhere of Shea's defense at third? It is ghastly, you know. Career zone rating of .737, which would place him as the worst in the league this year. And his stats this year have been significantly worse, not that Maicer or Chone have been models of excellence.

Why not consider him an alternative at first instead? After all, the Hardball Times has just hung a #5 around Morales' neck in its annual Carl Everett awards for who's most likely to sink the ship. Notice dishonorable mentions go to AK and GA. I guess this might address two of the three in a single trade. Anderson is left to keep Carlos Lee or Bobby Abreu from warming our LF or DH slots.
 
Maxwell -- Morales should be kept in the fray because he's required around 200 AB before establishing himself at almost every level, and he didn't even get that in AAA. While it comes with a small sample size warning, he's hitting .311 this month. I, for one, would like to see him stick around to see if he can keep up this level of production.
 

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