RedsZone.com - Cincinnati Reds Fans' Home for Baseball Discussion Greene? Really?

 11-06-2008, 08:29 AM #31 kpresidente Member     Join Date: Jun 2008 Posts: 1,600 Re: Greene? Really? OK, lets start all over again...and lets start with the offense since those numbers are less guesswork. Fontenot vs. RHP .298|.379|.473 - 6.92 RC/27 Keppinger vs. LHP .351|.403|.515 - 8.65 RC/27 Platoon (figuring Fontenot gets 2/3 of the ABs) = 183 RC in 660 ABs. Average SS .290|.369|.422 - 4.76 RC/27 = 116 RC in 660 ABs Difference = +67 for the Fontenot/Kepp platoon. BTW - I used this site http://www.tangotiger.net/markov.html to calculate RC/27 and I used the Bill James method. So the Fontenot/Keppinger platoon would have to give up 67 more runs in the field than the average SS to break even. Now for the defense... The 32 runs/game is not generous. If anything, it's high. Like I said, total chances overstates the run value because it counts assisted plays twice. A groundball to the SS = 1 assist for the SS and 1 PO for the 1B, which = 2 TC and only 1 real out. INOW - suppose there are 7 Ks in a game; that leaves 20 outs in the field. However, that same game might have 30 TCs because 10 of those a assisted plays. So that method is flawed. What we should do is just use assists alone for a middle-infielder. The reasoning is that a great infielder probably won't make many more POs than an average one. Anybody can tag second base or catch an infield fly. However, he will make a lot more assists. Then subtract errors. The problem is, again, I don't know the averages for a SS or a 2B. FWIW, Fontenot averages 2.71 assists/27 @ 2B and Keppinger 2.62 assists/27 @ SS. The average assists for a SS and a 2B tend to be about the same league-wide. Assuming that 4th out = 1/2 run (your assumption), the average SS would have to average roughly 3.5 assists/game to make up the difference in runs that Font/Kepp give you at the plate. The league leader in assists (Orlando Cabrera) only averaged 3.05. So, even using the defensive league leader, the Kepp/Font platoon still comes out on top by 31 runs. Even if you assume Fontenot can't play SS as well as 2B, that's more than made up for by the fact that I'm comparing him against the league leading SS, as opposed to the average. Last edited by kpresidente; 11-06-2008 at 08:39 AM.
11-06-2008, 01:25 PM   #32
schmidty622
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by kpresidente OK, lets start all over again...and lets start with the offense since those numbers are less guesswork. Fontenot vs. RHP .298|.379|.473 - 6.92 RC/27 Keppinger vs. LHP .351|.403|.515 - 8.65 RC/27 Platoon (figuring Fontenot gets 2/3 of the ABs) = 183 RC in 660 ABs. Average SS .290|.369|.422 - 4.76 RC/27 = 116 RC in 660 ABs Difference = +67 for the Fontenot/Kepp platoon. BTW - I used this site http://www.tangotiger.net/markov.html to calculate RC/27 and I used the Bill James method. So the Fontenot/Keppinger platoon would have to give up 67 more runs in the field than the average SS to break even. Now for the defense... The 32 runs/game is not generous. If anything, it's high. Like I said, total chances overstates the run value because it counts assisted plays twice. A groundball to the SS = 1 assist for the SS and 1 PO for the 1B, which = 2 TC and only 1 real out. INOW - suppose there are 7 Ks in a game; that leaves 20 outs in the field. However, that same game might have 30 TCs because 10 of those a assisted plays. So that method is flawed. What we should do is just use assists alone for a middle-infielder. The reasoning is that a great infielder probably won't make many more POs than an average one. Anybody can tag second base or catch an infield fly. However, he will make a lot more assists. Then subtract errors. The problem is, again, I don't know the averages for a SS or a 2B. FWIW, Fontenot averages 2.71 assists/27 @ 2B and Keppinger 2.62 assists/27 @ SS. The average assists for a SS and a 2B tend to be about the same league-wide. Assuming that 4th out = 1/2 run (your assumption), the average SS would have to average roughly 3.5 assists/game to make up the difference in runs that Font/Kepp give you at the plate. The league leader in assists (Orlando Cabrera) only averaged 3.05. So, even using the defensive league leader, the Kepp/Font platoon still comes out on top by 31 runs. Even if you assume Fontenot can't play SS as well as 2B, that's more than made up for by the fact that I'm comparing him against the league leading SS, as opposed to the average.
Sooooo lets go out and get the leauge leader, Cabrera! Who also happens to be a better offensive player than Greene.
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11-06-2008, 03:40 PM   #33
757690
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by kpresidente OK, lets start all over again...and lets start with the offense since those numbers are less guesswork. Fontenot vs. RHP .298|.379|.473 - 6.92 RC/27 Keppinger vs. LHP .351|.403|.515 - 8.65 RC/27 Platoon (figuring Fontenot gets 2/3 of the ABs) = 183 RC in 660 ABs. Average SS .290|.369|.422 - 4.76 RC/27 = 116 RC in 660 ABs Difference = +67 for the Fontenot/Kepp platoon. BTW - I used this site http://www.tangotiger.net/markov.html to calculate RC/27 and I used the Bill James method. So the Fontenot/Keppinger platoon would have to give up 67 more runs in the field than the average SS to break even. Now for the defense... The 32 runs/game is not generous. If anything, it's high. Like I said, total chances overstates the run value because it counts assisted plays twice. A groundball to the SS = 1 assist for the SS and 1 PO for the 1B, which = 2 TC and only 1 real out. INOW - suppose there are 7 Ks in a game; that leaves 20 outs in the field. However, that same game might have 30 TCs because 10 of those a assisted plays. So that method is flawed. What we should do is just use assists alone for a middle-infielder. The reasoning is that a great infielder probably won't make many more POs than an average one. Anybody can tag second base or catch an infield fly. However, he will make a lot more assists. Then subtract errors. The problem is, again, I don't know the averages for a SS or a 2B. FWIW, Fontenot averages 2.71 assists/27 @ 2B and Keppinger 2.62 assists/27 @ SS. The average assists for a SS and a 2B tend to be about the same league-wide. Assuming that 4th out = 1/2 run (your assumption), the average SS would have to average roughly 3.5 assists/game to make up the difference in runs that Font/Kepp give you at the plate. The league leader in assists (Orlando Cabrera) only averaged 3.05. So, even using the defensive league leader, the Kepp/Font platoon still comes out on top by 31 runs. Even if you assume Fontenot can't play SS as well as 2B, that's more than made up for by the fact that I'm comparing him against the league leading SS, as opposed to the average.
First, I apologize for getting the platoon stats wrong, I just read it wrong.

Second, if you don't understand that the outs and runs that a defensive player is responsible for, is far greater than just his own assists, then you simply do not understand how the game is played. I am not tying to get personal, but there is no other way for me to put it.
Please address the points that I have made twice now (and will make for a third time). If you do not, there is no point in continuing this discussion.

Quote:
 SS is the most important defensive position on the field. It's importance can not be measured by any fielding stat, or any compilation of stats. Having a solid fielding SS results not just in less errors, or more plays made, it leads to less pitches being thrown by the pitchers, having a starter go deeper into games, using the bullpen less, letting pitchers have confidence in allowing the batter to make contact, less AB's for the opposing lineup which means that the best hitters hit less often, less stress on the rest of the defense, and so much more.
If you want a good example of how important a good defensive SS is, just look at the Rays. They gave up 209 less runs this year than they did last year. A lot of that was better relief pitching and the addition of Garza. But it also was because they got Jason Bartlett to replace Brandan Harris at SS. There is no stat that can show the difference he made, but the entire Rays pitching staff said that Bartlett was the teams MVP because he gave them confidence to let the opposing hitters make contact, and made their job much easier.

Another good example is Kepp himself. In limited action, Kepp put up halfway decent numbers defensively in 07, which let many Reds fans believe that he could play SS for a full season. Well in 08, he proved that he could not. His defense was horrible, and anyone who watched Reds games could tell you that. The Reds horrible defense last year, especially Kepp's was one of the biggest reasons why they lost so many games.

Seriously, if you do not think that defense matters at SS matters more than the offense he creates, then you do not understand how baseball is played.

 11-06-2008, 04:26 PM #34 bgwilly31 Member   Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: Hamilton Posts: 1,147 Re: Greene? Really? Lets hear why everybody thinks Kepp at SS is such an Issue. Dont forget guys hes one of the best hitters on the team. Dont get so down on him just because of the rushed back from injury stage this past year. I dont like the line-up without kepp in it. I think hes a fantastic 7 spot hitter. And a ok 2 hitter. This team needs bats. If we want to be anything next year. IMO.
11-06-2008, 04:56 PM   #35
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bgwilly31 Lets hear why everybody thinks Kepp at SS is such an Issue. Dont forget guys hes one of the best hitters on the team. Dont get so down on him just because of the rushed back from injury stage this past year. I dont like the line-up without kepp in it. I think hes a fantastic 7 spot hitter. And a ok 2 hitter. This team needs bats. If we want to be anything next year. IMO.
The Reds need a big bat in the middle of the lineup and better defense. Their offense is not that far away, but their defense needs a complete makeover, especially the leftside of the infield.

That is why it makes no sense to bring in a SS who is a worse defender than Kepp to platoon with him.

First of all, no one platoons at 55 because a team needs a steady double play combo. Name one playoff team that platooned at SS in the last 20 years.

To give one an idea about the omportance of infield defense, the Brewers felt it was necessary to move Ryan Braun from third to left, because his defense did not justify his bat.
Ryan Braun, one the leagues top five sluggers, could not produce enough offense to offset the runs he was letting in due to his defense. This is at third base, a much less defensively important position than SS, So Ray Fontenot can justify his bat at SS, when Ryan Braun can't at third?

11-06-2008, 05:28 PM   #36
bgwilly31
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by 757690 The Reds need a big bat in the middle of the lineup and better defense. Their offense is not that far away, but their defense needs a complete makeover, especially the leftside of the infield. That is why it makes no sense to bring in a SS who is a worse defender than Kepp to platoon with him. First of all, no one platoons at 55 because a team needs a steady double play combo. Name one playoff team that platooned at SS in the last 20 years. To give one an idea about the omportance of infield defense, the Brewers felt it was necessary to move Ryan Braun from third to left, because his defense did not justify his bat. Ryan Braun, one the leagues top five sluggers, could not produce enough offense to offset the runs he was letting in due to his defense. This is at third base, a much less defensively important position than SS, So Ray Fontenot can justify his bat at SS, when Ryan Braun can't at third?
Why a good effort ^ but that point doesnt make sense because they didnt take him out of the lineup they just moved him.

 11-06-2008, 05:59 PM #37 redsfandan Member     Join Date: Aug 2008 Posts: 3,511 Re: Greene? Really? i think the point was that it's not wise to accept bad defenders at positions where you need good defense. __________________ "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."
11-06-2008, 06:13 PM   #38
kpresidente
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by 757690 First, I apologize for getting the platoon stats wrong, I just read it wrong. Second, if you don't understand that the outs and runs that a defensive player is responsible for, is far greater than just his own assists, then you simply do not understand how the game is played. I am not tying to get personal, but there is no other way for me to put it. Please address the points that I have made twice now (and will make for a third time). If you do not, there is no point in continuing this discussion.
Get real man. I played baseball until my freshman year in college and would have continued if not for an injury. I think I understand how the game is played. I played in amateur leagues after that with guys who had made it as high as AA until I was 26. Not only that, but I played catcher, and can rattle off every responsibility for every player in the field in every situation if you want me to. Having seen every pitch of every game I played, not to mention having the best view in the stadium of every defensive play, I'll tell you the most important thing to preventing runs is not throwing gopher balls out over the plate.

The knock on Keppinger, and I presume, Fontenot, is their range. Assists exactly measures how many ground balls they got to in position to make a throw. Sure, there's some other things, like cut-off throws in there, but it's not significant.

Don't feed me garbage like "If you don't think X, you don't know baseball", because I know the game through and through. Tell my why or go bother somebody else.

Quote:
 If you want a good example of how important a good defensive SS is, just look at the Rays. They gave up 209 less runs this year than they did last year. A lot of that was better relief pitching and the addition of Garza. But it also was because they got Jason Bartlett to replace Brandan Harris at SS. There is no stat that can show the difference he made, but the entire Rays pitching staff said that Bartlett was the teams MVP because he gave them confidence to let the opposing hitters make contact, and made their job much easier.
Big deal. That's just talk. A lot of playoff teams had bad shortstops. A lot of great shortstops were sitting at home watching games on TV during the postseason.

If Bartlett was really the answer, then how come the Twins won 10 more games with Harris than they did in '07 with Bartlett? Maybe it's because their OBP was 10 points higher. If they'd have held on to Garza, you'd probably seen them in the WS instead of the Rays. Brendan Harris and all. There's lot's of ways to skin a cat.

Quote:
 Well in 08, he proved that he could not.
No, he proved he could not when coming off an injury. His numbers throughout his whole career, including the minors, says he has decent range.

Quote:
 The Reds horrible defense last year, especially Kepp's was one of the biggest reasons why they lost so many games.
The reason we lost so many games was because our starting pitching was bad and we couldn't get on base. Sure, part of it was the defense, but if that was the major reason, then why did Volquez win 17 games? Didn't he play in front of the same defense? Why did we have a winning record with Hairston in the line-up playing SS?

Last edited by kpresidente; 11-06-2008 at 06:29 PM.

11-06-2008, 06:47 PM   #39
kpresidente
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by 757690 First of all, no one platoons at 55 because a team needs a steady double play combo. Name one playoff team that platooned at SS in the last 20 years.
Didn't the Reds platoon Bill Doran and Mariano Duncan in 1990?

The reason you don't see middle infield platoons has more to do with the fact that there's not a lot of left-handed middle infielders out there than any double play combo reason.

11-06-2008, 07:38 PM   #40
757690
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by kpresidente Get real man. I played baseball until my freshman year in college and would have continued if not for an injury. I think I understand how the game is played. I played in amateur leagues after that with guys who had made it as high as AA until I was 26. Not only that, but I played catcher, and can rattle off every responsibility for every player in the field in every situation if you want me to. Having seen every pitch of every game I played, not to mention having the best view in the stadium of every defensive play, I'll tell you the most important thing to preventing runs is not throwing gopher balls out over the plate. Don't feed me garbage like "If you don't think X, you don't know baseball", because I know the game through and through. You tell my why or go bother somebody else.

Just because you played the game does not mean you understand it. I played with many players in college and in amateur leagues that did not understand the game. In fact, I remembering trying to explain to our catcher why OBP was a better stat than BA. He never got it.

I think it is a very logical argument to say that if you do not understand the importance of defense, than you do not understand how the game is played. It is like saying that if you don't understand the importance of punctuation than you don't understand how to write. Just as punctuation is a boring but essential part of writing, so to is defense a boring but essential part of baseball. If you don't understand that, then you don't understand how the game is played.
Let me put it another way. Let's say I said that pitching did not matter, that all that mattered was offense. I think it would be logical to say that I did not understand the game based on that statement.

Quote:
 The knock on Keppinger, and I presume, Fontenot, is their range. Assists exactly measures how many ground balls they got to in position to make a throw. Sure, there's some other things, like cut-off throws in there, but it's not significant.
First of all, I find it hard to believe that a catcher would think that not hitting the cut off man is not significant.

Quote:
 Big deal. That's just talk. A lot of playoff teams had bad shortstops. A lot of great shortstops were sitting at home watching games on TV during the postseason.
Name me one team that made the Playoffs in the last 5 years that had a bad defensive SS. And it is illogical to assert conclude from the statement, "A good SS is necessary for a team to contend" that the statement "All teams with good SS will contend."

Quote:
 If Bartlett was really the answer, then how come the Twins won 10 more games with Harris than they did in '07 with Bartlett? Maybe it's because their OBP was 10 points higher. If they'd have held on to Garza, you'd probably seen them in the WS instead of the Rays. Brendan Harris and all. There's lot's of ways to skin a cat.
Harris only played 55 games at SS. He played most of his games between 2B and 3B. Nick Punto played more games at SS. Harris and Bartlett were in the Garza deal, so if they would have held on to Garza, it would mean that they would have had Bartlett at SS, so I agree, in that scenario, they would have been better than the Rays.

Quote:
 The reason we lost so many games was because our starting pitching was bad and we couldn't get on base. Sure, part of it was the defense, but if that was the major reason, then why did Volquez win 17 games? Didn't he play in front of the same defense? Why did we have a winning record with Hairston in the line-up playing SS?
Our starting pitching was actually pretty good, but it looked bad because of the horrible defense behind it. This is shown in the difference between their ERA's and xFIP.

Code:
```Harang  -39
Arroyo   -43
Volquez  +25
Cueto    -19
Fogg    -198
Belisle  -297
Bailey  -259```
Everyone except Volquez had a much worse xFIP than ERA. That means that the defense let them down. Volquez, being a strike out pitcher, was able to overcome the defense, by not letting them have to field many balls. Arroyo and Harang, who pitch to contact, were hurt the most (outside the three who did not pitch a lot of innings), because they relied on the defense to make most of their outs.

As for Hairston, he only played 34 games as SS, far too small of a sample size to draw any conclusions.

11-06-2008, 07:38 PM   #41
757690
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by kpresidente Didn't the Reds platoon Bill Doran and Mariano Duncan in 1990? The reason you don't see middle infield platoons has more to do with the fact that there's not a lot of left-handed middle infielders out there than any double play combo reason.
Doran was acquired at the trading deadline and only started only 11 games with the Reds. It was not a platoon, Duncan was the started and Doran filled in for him. Doran got on a mini hot streak and started 6 games in row at one point, but it was not a platoon.

11-06-2008, 10:13 PM   #42
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by bgwilly31 Why a good effort ^ but that point doesnt make sense because they didnt take him out of the lineup they just moved him.
But when they moved him, they created a hole at 3rd. That hole was filled by Billy Hall and Russell Branyon. Using RC, they created 88 runs at third. If they would have kept Braun at 3rd, then they would have gone out and gotten a left fielder, which they needed. A league average left fielder creates between 115-120 runs. That means that the Brewers, by moving Braun, lost between 27-32 runs. So basically, they felt that his defense was costing them at least that much. And 3rd base is a less important defensive position than SS.

 11-06-2008, 10:23 PM #43 tommycash Member     Join Date: Jan 2008 Location: Indiana Posts: 441 Re: Greene? Really? www.cincinnatireds.com Jocketty says no to Greene. __________________ Jack Eliot: I'm a World Series MVP! Skip: That was four years ago, Jack. Last season, you hit .235. Jack Eliot: LAST SEASON, I led this team in ninth-inning doubles in the month of August! ---Mr. Baseball 1992
11-06-2008, 10:41 PM   #44
kpresidente
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by 757690 I think it is a very logical argument to say that if you do not understand the importance of defense, than you do not understand how the game is played.
Good because I'm the one in this conversation who understands the importance of defense. As in, it's the least important of the three of offense, pitching, and defense.

Quote:
 First of all, I find it hard to believe that a catcher would think that not hitting the cut off man is not significant.
What I meant is that you can get an assist on a cut-off throw.

Quote:
It's just a statement. You haven't quantified it so it's mostly meaningless. For instance, I have no doubt that pitchers will feel more comfortable with a slick-fielding SS. That doesn't say anything about how much it actually impacts their performance.

Quote:
 Name me one team that made the Playoffs in the last 5 years that had a bad defensive SS. And it is illogical to assert conclude from the statement, "A good SS is necessary for a team to contend" that the statement "All teams with good SS will contend."

Boston - Julio Lugo

Just misses...
Mets - Jose Reyes
Yankees - Derek Jeter

So the problem isn't the logic, it's the facts. A good SS is NOT necessary to contend. The fact that most contending teams have a good SS doesn't mean it follows logically that a good SS is necessary, either. Contending teams would be expected to excel in most areas of the game.

Quote:
 Our starting pitching was actually pretty good, but it looked bad because of the horrible defense behind it. This is shown in the difference between their ERA's and xFIP. Harang -39 Arroyo -43 Volquez +25 Cueto -19 Fogg -198 Belisle -297 Bailey -259 Everyone except Volquez had a much worse xFIP than ERA. That means that the defense let them down. Volquez, being a strike out pitcher, was able to overcome the defense, by not letting them have to field many balls. Arroyo and Harang, who pitch to contact, were hurt the most (outside the three who did not pitch a lot of innings), because they relied on the defense to make most of their outs.
1. xFIP is a dubious stat, in that it significantly undervalues the extremes. In other words, a horrible pitcher will be better represented in his xFIP than he actually pitched. It's good for identifying pitchers who pitched in front of bad defenses (I've never denied that), but shouldn't be used to quantify that effect. Notice how according to xFIP, Belise was significantly better than Cueto, which is ridiculous. Nobody believes that. Our 5th starters were much worse than represented here....

Harang - 4.39
Arroyo - 4.34
Volquez - 4.02
Cueto - 4.62
Fogg - 5.60
Belisle - 4.31
Bailey - 5.34

Once you understand that Fogg, Belise, Bailey and probably Harang pitched significantly worse than their xFIP is showing, you realize that yes, things were quite bad. When the league-average ERA is 4.29 and you have 1 guy out of 5 top that, you can't say we were "pretty good."

Our top 4 starters are showing just below league average, and our 5th starters were horrible. Keep in mind, we were only 8 wins under .500, so our record correlates quite nicely with those figures, without having to bring defense in at all (especially when you note that we were a poor offensive team as well.)

2. All that you've done is shown that we had a bad defense, and that it affected out pitching negatively. I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing whether bad defense at one position outweighs adding a nearly .900 OPS to the line-up, and I think I've clearly shown that it does not.

3. Some of the biggest problems with our defense are already solved. Catcher, CF, LF, and RF should all be much better next year. This means we can get away with below average SS and the defense will still be improved.

Lastly, I'm not going to let you push me into a more extreme position than the one I've taken, either. Note this from my initial post about Fontenot...

Quote:
 That platoon might also work at 3B, although Fontenot hasn't seen much time there. Or you could put the pair at 2B and move Phillips. Several options there.
Note that I am aware of the defensive liability I'd be leaving and offered several other options to alleviate it. My idea would be to move Phillips, but I didn't say that because I didn't want to open up a conversation that's been rehashed about a million times. I expected that reasonable readers would run with that suggestion anyway.

My point was to bring his name into the conversation, because he's a perfect platoon partner for Keppinger, and the pair would give a ton of offense that warrants finding a spot in the field. You work out the defense afterward, because the flexibility to make it work is there.

11-06-2008, 10:46 PM   #45
kpresidente
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Re: Greene? Really?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by 757690 But when they moved him, they created a hole at 3rd. That hole was filled by Billy Hall and Russell Branyon. Using RC, they created 88 runs at third. If they would have kept Braun at 3rd, then they would have gone out and gotten a left fielder, which they needed. A league average left fielder creates between 115-120 runs. That means that the Brewers, by moving Braun, lost between 27-32 runs. So basically, they felt that his defense was costing them at least that much. And 3rd base is a less important defensive position than SS.
It's not nearly that simple. Bill Hall was already on the team and was only making \$5 million (forget Branyon for the moment because he came later). There is little chance they could have gotten a 115 RC outfielder for \$5 million, plus, they would have had to pay Hall anyway (to sit the bench in your scenario). So it made sense for them financially to go with Hall a 3B and move Braun.

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