A day after agreeing to a contract with Adrian Beltre, the Red Sox are working to ease their corner infield logjam.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that Boston is close to trading first baseman Casey Kotchman to Beltre’s former team, the Seattle Mariners, for utilityman Bill Hall, a minor leaguer and cash to cover a portion of Hall’s $8.4 million salary for 2010.
The trade is pending physicals and Beltre’s signing being finalized later this week, according to the Seattle Times.
Many believed Kotchman was expendable even before Beltre came aboard in Boston; the Red Sox had Kevin Youkilis at first base and Mike Lowell at third. The team unsuccessfully attempted to trade Lowell in December. It reportedly will try again once Lowell shows he has recovered from offseason surgery on his thumb.
Kotchman played in 39 games for the Red Sox after being acquired from the Atlanta Braves for first baseman Adam LaRoche before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline. He batted .218/.284/.287 in 95 plate appearances. Seattle will make Kotchman, 26, its full-time first baseman. The former Angels regular is a lifetime .269/.337/.406 hitter in parts of six major league seasons.
Hall played in 34 games for the Mariners last season after being released by the Brewers. Milwaukee is responsible for about $7 million of Hall’s salary this year.