Ken Rosenthal, on a roll with Astros stuff today, is reporting that the Astros have signed IF/OF Bill Hall, who played with the Red Sox last year, to a 1 year ~$3 million deal with an opt-out clause. Hall will be playing second base for the Astros this season.
This has been rumored to be the path of action for the Astros for some time, and Hall certainly does have more pop than incumbent second baseman Jeff Keppinger does. However, he also comes with a pretty tame OBP, much like new acquisition Clint Barmes. In fact, putting defense aside and ignoring the fact that Hall has been a better overall hitter, you couldn’t draw up a pair of more similar players.
Hall hit 18 homers in 382 plate appearances for the Red Sox last season, and will turn 31 before the season starts.
This should also be the lead domino that sends Keppinger somewhere in a trade, either to the Yankees as rumored, or to another unknown destination.